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Bailey Thomson Award for Editorial Writing ($250 prize): The late Bailey Thomson was a prize-winning editorial writer for the Mobile Press-Register and a professor of journalism at UA. This award will be given to the senior who has demonstrated excellence in editorial or opinion writing. To enter, the student’s portfolio must include at least three examples of editorial or opinion writing.

Rick Bragg Award for Feature Writing ($250 prize): Rick Bragg is a professor in UA’s Department of Journalism and Creative Media and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his work at The New York Times. He is a recipient of the Clarence Cason Award, the Department of Journalism’s annual prize for nonfiction. This award will be given to the senior who has demonstrated excellence in feature writing throughout their high school career. To enter, a student must include at least three examples of feature writing.

Alabama Broadcasting Association ($250 prize)

Alabama Journalist of the Year Award ($250 prize)

To apply, candidates should create an online portfolio (i.e. a website) showcasing/explaining examples of their best work: 

• Applicants must be a senior of an ASPA member publication. There is no cap on the number of candidates per school.

• Portfolios should be cumulative of the candidate’s scholastic journalism career and should showcase areas where the candidate excels and/or how they have progressed over their time as a student journalist.

• There are no minimum or maximum limits on examples, however students should endeavor to show judges only their very best work. Samples may be written, linked or embedded on the site. Broadcast/video samples should be no longer than 15 minutes in length.

• Candidates may use any available web platform to create their site. Popular choices include WordPress, Wix, Adobe Spark, Google Sites, etc. The important thing is that the portfolio be online and shareable via hyperlink.

• The design/concept of the portfolio site is entirely up to the candidate, but attractiveness and ease of navigation do factor into judging.

• Whatever the site’s theme/design, work samples should be organized onto separate pages/tabs using the following categories:

• Some pieces may be cross-listed (ex: a sports story might go under writing, but also sports journalism). Candidates are NOT required to submit examples in all 12 categories (however the more areas in which a candidate excels, the better). Judges will consider both depth and breadth of skills in their evaluations.

To submit, email a PDF link to the candidate’s portfolio using the file name format: ASPASENIOR_School_StudentName


Susie DeMent Adviser of the Year Award ($500 prize): Students may nominate their advisers for ASPA’s Susie DeMent Adviser of the Year Award. Advisors may also nominate other advisors. Letters from other students, teachers, administrators, and colleagues and a resume may be included in the application. 

Larry Haynes Administrator of the Year Award ($500 prize)ASPA members may recognize the contributions of their principals or administrators with the Larry Haynes Administrator of the Year Award. You might want to include the school’s Freedom of Expression Policy and newspaper articles about the nominee. Letters from other students, teachers, administrators and colleagues and a resume may be included in the application. This award MUST be nominated by school media advisers.

All files should be emailed in one PDF using the following naming format: (Ex. ADVISER_SCHOOLNAME) or (ADMIN_SchoolName)


J.B. Stevenson Scholarship: The Alabama Press Association honors the late J.B. Stevenson, the son of John Stevenson, publisher and editor of The Randolph Leader in Roanoke, Alabama. The portfolios of the winners of the Thomson, Bragg and Journalist of the Year awards will be submitted to the Alabama Press Association for consideration for a $2,500 college scholarship. The winner must plan to major in journalism.

Alex House Journalism Sustainability Award: The Sustainability Award goes to an individual, staff, or school who have gone above and beyond to preserve journalism in a democratic society. This awards a student or staff who has recognized the importance of and advocated for the presence of their journalism program and the students’ rights for a free press. Students can be nominated by others or nominate themselves.