Enter Now!

We accept stories written by a journalist who lives or works in New Jersey or who reports about New Jersey or the region. We also welcome stories from people who live and work in New York City and Philadelphia, as long as the story affects New Jersey or New Jerseyans, or is about regional issues like transportation, the cleanliness of our beaches or the economic vitality of our region. We will accept stories on national and international issues if the authors live in New Jersey, or if the story has a strong NJ angle or if the publication, video channel or website is primarily situated in New Jersey.

  • All entries must have been published, broadcast or placed online in 2016.
  • Entries must be submitted by 11:59 on March 1, 2017  EXTENDED TO MARCH 10 The only exception is the contest for the Stuart and Beverley Awbrey Award. Because that competition requires extra documentation, the deadline is March 8 EXTENDED TO MARCH 17

Directions for entering the contest

Our contest is being managed online using betternewspapercontest.com.  If you want detailed instructions

Below are directions for preparing and submitting entries. If you have questions, please contact contest administrator Terry Williams at 619-743-3669 or email her at spj.nj@cox.net.

IMPORTANT: Please make sure to use a recent version of Mozilla Firefox for making contest entries.

If you have entered on the BetterBNC site in the past:

  • log onto betterbnc.com
  • click on “Open Call log-in” If you don’t remember your password, it will be sent to you.
  • If you get directed to the 2016 awards, go to Open Call Contestants at the top. From the dropdown menu, choose “my contests”
  • Click on 2017 NJ-SPJ Journalism Awards for work done in 2016 and you can then start making entries.
  1. If this is your first time, you must create your account:
  • Go to betterbnc.com
  • Click Open Call Login
  • Click Create your Open Call Account
  • Fill in all info
  • You will see a message that a verification link has been sent to your email.
  1. Present your credentials
  • Once you receive the verification link message, click on the link or copy into your browser.
  • Complete the credentials portion – if you are an SPJ member or someone who has entered before, no need to get too detailed. This step protects the entry process.
  • Once you see the “Credentials Updated” message, click on Available Contests.
  • Select the 2017 NJ-SPJ Journalism Awards for work done in 2016
  1. Submit Entries:
  • On the Manage Entries page, click Submit Entry
  • Select the appropriate Division (TELEVISION, RADIO, MAGAZINE, Etc)
  • Select the appropriate media outlet from the dropdown. If your publication, website or station is not on the list, you may add it.
  • Select the appropriate Category.
  • (If applicable) Read the corresponding Category Note (directly below the Category selection box), describing what is expected for the category’s entry content.
  • Complete the Headline/Title field.
  • Based on the type of entry, add content:
  • To add URL links to content, copy and paste the content’s web address into the provided Web URL field.
  • To upload digital file attachments (other than audio/video), click Choose File, navigate to the desired file, select Open, and click Upload. Allowed file types are PDF, DOC, TXT, JPG, GIF, and PNG. If more than one attachment is desired for this entry, repeat these steps.
  • For Audio or Video: To host your content online, either upload it to a free streaming content website (e.g. YouTube) or talk to your IT person about adding it to your station’s website. Make sure the content will be accessible online throughout the contest and awards judging process, until September 15th.
  • IMPORTANT: Please ensure that items are not behind a paywall or a password-protected area. If they are, you must provide username/password info in the Comments section of your entry. Judges may disqualify your entry if work samples are inaccessible.
  • Click Next.
  • Add Credits for those responsible for the entry content. Be sure to add your own name here.
  • Add Comments (if applicable), but keep them brief (e.g. 100 words).
  • Click Submit.

This is your account – you can come back to it at any time during the call for entries time period – until March 1st. Once you have completed all your entries, click on Entry Fee Calculator and check to be sure all your entries are included. Click on PayPal button to pay immediately (insert the amount due on the PayPal page) or send a note that includes your name, entry title, news organization and list of entries plus a check or credit card (Visa or MasterCard) payment info to:

Ron Miskoff, NJ-SPJ treasurer
c/o Media Trends
P.O. Box 470
Metuchen NJ 08840

If you’re paying by snail mail, please alert our treasurer Ron Miskoff by email at qpn@pipeline.com. Include the entrant’s name, entry title, news organization and check total and write “NJSPJ Awards Payment coming by snailmail” in the subject line. Payments submitted by mail must be postmarked by March 1, 2017. The only exception is for the Awbrey award. That deadline is March 8, 2016.

Entry fees:

  • Cost is $20 per entry for SPJ members and $25 per entry for non-SPJ members.
  • To be eligible for the SPJ discount, you should have paid dues within the last year. (TIP: Join SPJ for $75; enter in four categories and save $20!) If your SPJ membership is not up-to-date, you are not a member — and you should pay the non-member rate. Example: if you are a non-member and you submitted three entries, you would indicate you “bought” three entries at $25 each, or $75.
  • Entries that are submitted without payment are automatically disqualified.
  • No fees will be refunded, and all entries become property of NJ-SPJ. Contestants agree to let us reproduce their work for the purpose of promoting future contests. Your name will also be added to our Constant Contact mailing list.

Problems? If you have questions about the contest, contact contest administrator Terry Williams at spj.nj@cox.net or call Terry at 619-743-3669. If you want to join NJ SPJ or want to know more about what our chapter does, email chapter president Miriam Ascarelli at prez@njspj.org.


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