2015 EPA Contest Information — Higher Goals

It's EPA contest time! The Evangelical Press Association’s two contests are open! The entry deadline for both the Awards of Excellence contests (for your publication as a whole) and for the Higher Goals contests (for the individual pieces you and your team produced—reporting, photos, design, etc.) is January 13, 2015.

Read on for instructions on how to submit and prepare your entries.

As our contest entry system is online, please make sure your browser is updated and that you have updated Adobe Flash Player for the browser you will use.  The contest entry website suggests using Firefox for the entries, but other browsers might work.

The deadline for all entries is January 13, 2015 and those items that will be shipped for judging must arrive by January 15, 2015. Ship items to: EPA Contest, c/o  Danny Conn, 114 Bush Road, Nashville, TN 37217, 615-361-1221.

Since there are some differences between our two contests, and since you will need to handle each entry separately, we have split the directions, even though they overlap to a great extent. The Awards of Excellence honor the overall publication. The Higher Goals awards offer categories for different pieces, such as reporting, photography, design, etc. You'll probably want to enter both.

Here's how to enter the Higher Goals contest:

1. Log in to the contest site: http://betternewspapercontest.com

2. Select "Contestant Login" on the left. (This means that you will be managing the entries for your publication—or if you are an associate member, for yourself.)

3. Choose the appropriate contest from the scrolling list on the right—"2015 EPA Higher Goals." (Please see the separate instructions for the Awards of Excellence contest.)

4. Find your publication title in the drop-down box under "Select Media Organization." If you're not listed, let us know at contest@evangelicalpress.com. Please look for your publication title and not the organization’s name. (NOTE: There is one exception. The Higher Goals contest for Freelance Article is designed for EPA associate members who are freelance writers. Do not enter this contest as a publication member.)

5. If you participated in a contest for the 2014 awards, log in using the same email address and password you used then and skip step 6. If you have lost track of that information, send an email asking for the info to contest@evangelicalpress.com.  If you did not use the Better Newspaper Contest site for the 2014 Higher Goals contest, log in using the default password “bnc,” then see step six.

6. Once you're logged in, you'll be asked to choose a better password. After that, you will be able to submit one or two entries, then the site will close to you and an email will be sent to the address you used to log in. You will need to click on the link in that email to continue. This is a security feature of the website.

From there, just follow the online instructions. As Contestant Manager, you can make entries on behalf of your organization. You can also authorize other people to make entries. For more detailed instructions, follow this link:  http://betterbncsupport.com/images/ContestantManager_Instructions_4_3.pdf

For details about the contests and categories, please go to: http://www.evangelicalpress.com/3621-2/

Your entry information will be submitted online. Most Higher Goals entries will be submitted digitally. The address for mailing physical entries will be in the label that you should print once your entries are completed. The Higher Goals physical entries differ by category. For Photography Use, send three consecutive issues. For Publication Design send three consecutive issues. For Publication Redesign submit one issue of your new design one of your previous design. Your publications will not be returned by the judge.

7. Submit entries.

A. Select “manage entries.”

B. On that page click “submit entries” and select “general” on the Division drop-down box

C. Select the entry Category.

D. Read the corresponding Category Note (directly below the category selection box), describing what is expected for the category's entry content.

E. Complete the Headline/Title field. Based on the type of entry, add content.

F. Most entries require a digital submission. Three higher goals categories require you to ship physical entries: Photography Use, Publication Design and Publication Redesign. One gives you an option of shipping a physical entry or uploading digital content: Single-Theme Section or Issue.

i. To upload digital file attachments, click Browse, 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. If you reach a point where you cannot add any more attachments to an entry, you may have reached the attachments limit, set by your contest administrator. Please keep file sizes to 5mb or less, to aid judges in accessing entry content. For larger files (between 5-50mb), you may upload your file(s) to www.issuu.com, and copy and paste the URL into the Web URL field.

ii. Some categories require or allow you to provide a link. To add web content, copy and paste the content's web address into the provided web URL field. Make sure the content will be accessible online throughout the contest and awards process. 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 without a refund if samples are inaccessible.

iii. If an individual entry requires multiple items, click on the “browse” box and insert your first entry, then click on the “attach more” line below it and repeat as appropriate. This feature will work with Firefox but not with Safari.

G. Add Credits for those responsible for the entry content. While the contest site does not include this, we prefer that you include a job title for each person after a comma after the last name. (For example: First Name: Bob; Second Name: Smith, editor.

H. Add Comments (if appropriate), but keep them brief (e.g. 100 words).

I. Click "submit."

J. For the categories that require or allow you to ship hard copies for the judge, simply complete all content fields and print the label (which automatically appears after each entry is submitted) to a folder containing each hardcopy item for the category. Hard copy entries should arrive in Nashville, TN, by January 15, 2015. They should be sent to: EPA Contest, c/o Danny Conn, 114 Bush Road, Nashville, TN 37217, 615-361-1221.

8. You may submit two entries per member publication (or per associate member in the freelance category) in each Higher Goals contest. You will get feedback from the judge for every entry, however we ask each judge to only grant one award per publication or member. If you have both a print and digital publication, and both are EPA members, you may submit two entries for each.

9. Please be sure that someone checks the email address you use for your entries regularly so you will be aware of any updates or questions that come up.

Payment for Entries

You can calculate your total entry fees using the “Calculate entry fee” link available on the right-hand side of the “Manage entries” page. The cost is $50 for each Awards of Excellence entry and $25 for each Higher Goals awards entry.

That page includes a link that says “Click to enter payment information.” Clicking that link will open a new payment page on the EPA website where you can make a secure credit card payment. You will need to enter the amount directly into the payment page – it will not be entered automatically. You may combine the payments for the Awards of Excellence and Higher Goals awards. You may also combine payments for the entries from more than one publication, but you will need to clearly list each publication and their respective number of Higher Goals entries and Awards of Excellence entries in the description box on the payment page.

If you prefer to pay by check, mail the check, payable to Evangelical Press Association, P.O. Box 20198, El Cajon, CA 92021. Your payment must be postmarked by the entry deadline, January 13, 2015.

For questions about payments, please email business@evangelicalpress.com or call 1-888-311-1731, ext. 2.

If you have any questions, please send them to Danny Conn, Chair of the Contest Committee, at contest@evangelicalpress.com. Thank you for participating in this year’s contest.