Communications Contests

NMPW New Mexico Communications Contest

The 2024 New Mexico Press Women Communications Contest opened for entries October 1. The state contest is the first tier in the National Federation of Press Women’s contest. Entries are submitted through the National Federation of Press Women’s Communications Contest portal. Please read important details below:

The New Mexico Press Women’s Communications Contest is judged at the state level. First place winners in the state level contest are eligible to move to the national level of judging. To be eligible to move to the national contest, the entrant must be a member in good standing with the National Federation of Press Women.

The contest is open to media people over the age of 18 regardless of gender, professional status or location. There are 61 categories covering writing, editing, photography, graphic design, radio and television, web and social media, advertising, communication programs and campaigns, public relations materials, information for the media, speeches and collegiate/education.

All work must have been published or broadcast between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023, to be eligible for entry.

Entry fees for New Mexico Press Women members are $25 for the first entry and $15 for each additional entry. Nonmember fees are $30 for the first entry and $20 for each additional entry. Student fees are $10 for the first and $10 for each additional entry. A one time $25 late fee will be assessed to all professional contest entrants after the Jan. 17, 2024, deadline. January 31, 2024, is the entry deadline for all books, and February 7 is the final contest deadline for all other entries.

Judging will be completed by March 8 and first place winners that want to go on to the national contest must be members of the national organization by March 15. The national judging will be completed by April 10. New Mexico Press Women will pay the additional national entry fee for one qualified entry by an NMPW member (who was a paid member by January 31, 2024); $25 national fees for additional entries by NMPW members and all entries for nonmembers must be paid by the entrant (entrants will be notified by email).

State level contest winners will be announced at the annual NMPW conference planned for March 15-16, 2024 at Isleta Hotel and Resort. For more information go to

Finalists and winners of the New Mexico Communications contests for books may order attractive foil stickers. The stickers do not have a date, so previous finalists and winners can use them. The cost is $25.00 for 100 stickers. Order stickers at our online store.

Zia Book Award Contest

The Zia Book Award started in 1953 to honor an outstanding woman in New Mexico media. Each year the award rotates to one of three categories: non-fiction, fiction, and children’s literature. To accommodate this schedule, a book published in the last three years is eligible. See the Zia Book Award page for information about this year’s contest, which is now open for submissions.

Finalists and winners of the Zia Book Award may order attractive foil stickers. The stickers do not have a date, so previous finalists and winners can use them. The cost is $25.00 for 100 stickers. Order stickers at our online store.

NMPW High School Communications Contest

The National Federation of Press Women High School Communications Contest is now open.

This is one of only a few nationwide communications competitions for high school students. It inspires students to do outstanding work in their quest for excellence.

Because NFPW’s state affiliate, New Mexico Press Women, is not hosting a contest, students may enter the NFPW At-Large High School Communications Contest. First-place winners of the at-large contest will receive an award certificate, an invitation to the National High School Luncheon at the NFPW National Conference, and a check for $100 per first-place entry.

All first-place entries from the national contest will move to the NFPW National High School Communications Award of Excellence where they will be judged against one another.  The student or team whose national first-place entry is judged best among all national first-place entries will receive an NFPW High School Communications Award of Excellence and an additional $250 per entry. Another $250 is be awarded to the school or program the student attends.

All contest entries must have been published, e-published, broadcast, or issued between Feb. 1, 2023 and January 31, 2024. For more detailed information at the NFPW High School Contest web page. Final deadline for entry is February 7, 2024, at noon in the entrant’s time zone.

Communicator of Achievement Contest

The Communicator of Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by New Mexico Press Women and the National Federation of Press Women upon those members who have distinguished themselves within and beyond their profession. See this year’s details on the 2024 COA page.

The recipient, chosen from nominations by NMPW members, is recognized for exceptional achievement in the communications field, service to NMPW/NFPW and to the community.

All nominees must be living members, in good standing for at least two years in NMPW and NFPW.

A previous nominee can be named by an affiliate again, as long as he or she has not been honored as NFPW’s national COA winner. Specifics on building a nomination packet, rules for entry, nomination form and more will be posted here when they are announced by NFPW later this year. Also, there is nothing barring self-nomination.

For more information, contact NMPW COA Chair Adam Biederwolf.

The COA Award winner will be announced at the NMPW annual conference.

The winner represents our state in the national competition with the national COA and the runner-up announced at the Communicator of Achievement Award Banquet at NFPW’s annual conference in the fall. Each nominee is featured in NFPW’s AGENDA newsletter prior to the conference and spotlighted at the awards banquet.

NMPW Communicators of Achievement
(called Woman of Achievement until 1991)

1963 Frankie McCarty
1964 Val Cooper
1965 Mildred Latini
1966 Ruth Bush Jones
1967 Kathryn Morris
1968 Cathie Bower
1969 Regina Tatum Cooke
1970 Alice Gruver
1971 Mary Olin Harrell
1972 Laura Robertson
1973 Glenna Lee Gallemore
1975 Grace McCallum
1979 Kathryn Morris
1980 Sherry Robinson, National First Runner-Up
1981 Faye Plank, National Winner
1982 Tricia Hurst
1983 Jean Jordan
1984 Della Kilcrease
1985 Mary Thompson
1986 Lynn Peters
1987 Marie Hirst
1988 Anne Hillerman
1989 Mamie Carter
1990 Mamie Carter
1991 Cathy Robbins
1992 Marsha Vohs
1993 Pat Graff
1994 Hollis Walker
1995 Denise Tessier, National First Runner-Up
1996 Virginia Dooley
1997 Linda Harris
1998 Chris Burroughs
1999 Carolyn Mullenax Edwards
2000 Sandy Schauer
2003 Susanne Burks
2004 Kathy Cordova
2005 Ree Strange Sheck, National Winner
2006 Emily Drabanski
2007 Connie Gotsch
2008 Cary Herz, National Winner
2009 Susan Walton
2010 Tom Berner
2011 Bud Russo
2012 Cheryl Fallstead
2013 Carol Kreis
2014 Sherri Burr
2015 Anne Hillerman, National First Runner-Up
2016 Loretta Hall, National Winner
2018 Jessica Savage
2020 Damien Wills
2021 Sherri Burr, National Winner
2022 Margaret Cheasebro
2023 Leonie Rosenstiel

Note: No awards were made in 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 2001, 2002, 2017 or 2019.