After making a decision as a staff to apply for more national competitions starting with the 2021 yearbook, the Treasure Chest yearbook staff submitted the 2020 edition, titled “Tidal Shift” during September to the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) for a super-critique. The student staff sought the feedback in order to grow the program and continue on the quest to produce a high quality yearbook. After waiting almost eight weeks for the critique results to be returned, the staff was astonished to have received the second highest award, a First Class rating, from the prestigious association.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the results of the critique,” Adviser Lela Siegel said. “We have won recognition the last three years from Jostens, but knew the scoring rubric through the NSPA would be much tougher. There are some small things we need to tweak in our journalistic writing but overall we are very excited to make those changes and look for a better score with this year’s book.”
NSPA offers critique services for newspapers, yearbooks, newsmagazines, literary magazines, feature magazines, and websites. As a level-two NSPA member, the Treasure Chest mailed a copy of the yearbook in order for it to be judged in five key categories: essentials, coverage, writing & editing, design, and photography. There are four levels of award ratings; the highest possible is an All-American rating, then a First Class rating, a Second Class and finally a Third Class rating. While every publication submitted is carefully judged, not every entry receives an award rating. The judges are qualified professional journalists, as well as past and present advisers of award winning programs. Judges work with advisers and journalists to base critiques on current, nation-wide best practices in the field.
Some comments on strengths of the book from the critique include:
- Great job finding a theme that was unique to your school. You really pulled the theme into your pages
- Coverage reflects the diversity of the school population and an effort to cover all individuals
- There are photos everywhere which increases the chances of students being in the book
- You have some good photographers!
Students can purchase their copy of the upcoming 2021 yearbook online by visiting http://www.JostensYearbooks.com