Newsletter: Fall 2011

Fall workshop to focus on opinion

Providing leadership with newsworthy, articulate opinion will be the focus of the New England Scholastic Press Association’s fall workshop.

Open to editors, writers and advisers the program will be Saturday afternoon, Nov. 19 from 2-4 at Boston University’s College of Communication.

The emphasis will be on attracting and holding readers in the school community by presenting a lively forum.

Various kinds of opinion the group will look into are cartoons, columns, editorials, graphics, guest articles, letters to the editor, polls and reviews.

Suggestions will include ways to find topics, compile information, differentiate among approaches and write persuasive pieces.

Tuition is $25 per person.

The deadline for enrollment is Friday, Oct. 28.

How to sign up

On a sheet of paper or using the application in the print version of Volume 17, No. 1 of NESPA News, include your name, name of publication or production, your position on the publication or production, school name, school phone, school address, email and your home phone.

Send this information along with $25 tuition fee per person, payable to NESPA, to Helen F. Smith, NESPA executive director, Boston University, College of Communication, 640 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Mass. 02215 by Friday, Oct. 28.

Free site visits available to members

After school or during a class period, site visits are a service this organization provides to members at no charge.

Advisers and staffs can ask questions, discuss concerns and get suggestions on topics of special interest to improve their publications and production work.

Possibilities for emphasis

Assistance and consultation during site visits can concern topics that include raising revenue and managing the business side; techniques of covering the school community; news, features and sports writing for print and for the Web; design, typography and layout; and staff organization and motivation. An informal critique can be part of the on site process. Also, advisers can confer about curriculum.

How to arrange a visit

To arrange for a site visit, please contact Helen F. Smith, NESPA’s executive director, at or or write Helen F. Smith, executive director, New England Scholastic Press Association, Boston University, College of Communication, 640 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Mass. 02215.

Special Fall Contest on localizing

When you show how issues that affect people in New England, the United States or around the world also affect people in your own school community. That’s localizing.

To enter the contest, please send the work with the entry information and fee. Submissions can be artwork, charts or diagrams, documentaries, editorials, essays, fiction, news or feature stories, single photos or photo illustrations, photo essays, poetry, pod casts, PSAs, special pages, special sections, slide shows or yearbook spreads.

The deadline for receipt of entries at Boston University is Friday, Jan. 13, 2012. Winners will be notified by April 1, and results will be announced at the annual spring conference.

In addition, the winners are announced in the summer issue of NESPA News.

How to enter

Please send the broadcast or published work with the entry information and fee. Send in the web link to online entries with the information requested below. Each entry must have been broadcast or published between September 1 and December 31, 2011. Yearbook entries must have been created during this same period.

Preparation of entries

Print media please send complete page, unmounted tearsheet on which entry appears. Broadcasters please send DVD or podcast. For online entries, please make sure the material remains live on your site through May, 2010. Send in the Web link with the printed entry form for every piece you want judged.

Tape a sheet to the back of EACH entry with the following the information: title of entry, name of the publication/broadcast, student(s) name(s) to be recognized, school’s full name, school address, school phone, school email and adviser’s signature.

Entry fee

NONE for NESPA members in good standing as of May, 2011; $3 per entry for nonmembers.

Please include $5 for postage and handling for each entry you want returned. You must note which entry(ies) you wish returned.

Send entries to New England Scholastic Press Association, Helen F. Smith, executive director, Boston University, College of Communication, 640 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Mass. 02215.

100 possibilities for localizing

Here are 100 sample topics to write about in terms of how they affect your own school community.

  • absenteeism and the reasons for it
  • academic exchanges
  • accreditation of schools
  • AIDS awareness and prevention
  • airport security
  • Alzheimer’s
  • animal rights
  • archeological discoveries
  • artificial turf
  • being bi- or tri-lingual
  • bicyclists and the law
  • boating safety
  • British Petroleum
  • bullying
  • cancer
  • cell phones
  • children’s rights in custody disputes
  • college admission standards
  • college tuition
  • community service
  • construction of schools
  • cost of textbooks
  • credit cards
  • Deaf cultures
  • depression
  • dirt bikes
  • disabilities
  • economic recession
  • elections
  • eligibility rules for athletes
  • endangered species
  • environmental issues
  • Facebook
  • federal aid to education
  • fitness and its challenges
  • First Amendment issues
  • food safety
  • foreclosures
  • funding for the arts
  • gambling
  • gap years
  • going green
  • hazing
  • health insurance
  • homophobia
  • human rights
  • hunting
  • immigration and emigration
  • internet use and misuse
  • internships
  • job market
  • junior drivers’ licenses
  • length of school day and school year
  • marketing on the internet
  • military and scientific advances
  • military recruiting
  • nutrition
  • obesity
  • outsourcing
  • political parties
  • public art
  • public transportation
  • privacy
  • professional sports
  • race relations
  • rules about jobs for teens
  • safety helmets
  • SAT prep options
  • scholarships’ availability
  • school bus safety
  • school lunches
  • school safety standards
  • security
  • sleep deprivation
  • social networking sites
  • special education
  • sports-related injuries
  • standardized testing
  • steroids
  • substance abuse
  • summer jobs
  • teen-age parents
  • teen-agers’ rights in the work place
  • texting and driving
  • tipping
  • tourism
  • tsunami
  • tweeting
  • unions and professional associations
  • user fees
  • vandalism and graffiti
  • veterans
  • video games
  • volunteer work
  • voter turnout
  • weather
  • websites
  • wind turbines
  • women’s issues
  • yoga.

Dates to note

Friday, Oct. 28: Registration deadline for Workshop on Opinion.
Saturday, Nov. 19: Workshop on opinion from 2 -4 p.m. at College of Communication, Boston University.
Friday, Jan. 13: Special Fall Contest entries are due.
Friday, March 30: Annual publication and production contest deadline.
Friday, May 4: Expected date for New England Scholastic Press Association’s 63rd annual conference at Boston University. Watch future postings for details.
Friday, June 1: Final application date for teachers’ workshop on How to Advise a Scholastic News Publication.
July 2, 3, 5 and 6: How to Advise a Scholastic News Publication Workshop at Boston University.

For details and procedures on membership, workshop registration and contest entry forms, please download the PDF.