According to the most recent analysis of data, the 2015 New Mexico Press Women Communications Contest attracted 94 entrants and 260 entries this year – an 85% increase in entries year over year. According to the National Federation of Press Women, the New Mexico state contest has grown faster than any other state. As a result of the increase, the contest has become more competitive with more quality entries.
The contest went entirely electronic this year, and with the exception of hard-copy books all entries were uploaded online. The National Federation of Press Women says that overall the growth of the contest can be attributed to the new electronic method of entry. For New Mexico, it seems that old-fashioned word-of-mouth, board member outreach, in-person presentations to member groups in Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Albuquerque and to other writer groups in the state, over-sized postcards that were handed out and mailed, and press releases that reached many small towns throughout rural areas of the state contributed significantly. Another contributing factor has been greater outreach to news outlets over the last few years.
The contest chair reports that all finalists will have been notified in early April.1st, 2nd, 3rd and honorable mentions will be announced Saturday evening, April 25th at the annual conference and posted on the NMPW website afterwards. Many entrants are new this year to the contest, and as a result there will be a significant number of new winners showing up in all categories and also new members.
First place winners are eligible to compete nationally, and the National Federation of Press Women competition finalist results are expected at the end of June. The national conference this year will be held in the fall in Alaska. Next year the state conference will be held in Albuquerque.