National Student Publishing Contest Opens With Increased Focus on Digital Journalism

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Nation-wide competition for student writing and periodicals will showcase new-media creations alongside traditional publications from America's K-12 schools

This contest is always exciting because it showcases the best journalism being created in America's K-12 schools

The Tenth Annual Student Publishing Contest opens this week … with a new emphasis on digital media. The competition, sponsored by Weekly Reader and organized by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP), honors the best in nonfiction publications and writing by students in grades 3-12.

The Weekly Reader Student Publishing Contest has grown over its ten-year history to match the changing needs and interests of our nation's young writers and journalists. "This contest is always exciting because it showcases the best journalism being created in America’s K-12 schools," said Ira Wolfman, VP of Editorial at Weekly Reader. "Last year, however, we were surprised when the ‘best publication, middle school’ category was won by an online-only periodical. Given students’ growing facility with digital media, we knew the time was right to give digital media a category of its own."

By opening the door for schools who publish web-only newspapers and magazines, Weekly Reader hopes the Digital Publication category will help build on the success of last year's contest, which saw its highest-ever entry total--nearly 450 entries from schools and students in 34 states.

The contest invites students and teachers to submit three types of entries. The Student Publication category is open to student-produced newspapers, magazines, or literary magazines that feature nonfiction. These publications may also have a digital component. The Individual Writing category is open to any piece of student nonfiction between 500 and 2,500 words. This could include memoirs, essays, or individual news stories; these pieces need not have been published before in any medium. Finally, Digital-Only Publications are websites, blogs, newspapers or other nonfiction publications that only appear online.

Student Publishing Contest winners get $500 cash prizes, national recognition, publication in a Weekly Reader magazine or on the Web, and roundtrip airfare to Washington, DC, for a special awards luncheon hosted by a prominent figure in journalism. The guest speaker in 2010 was Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind. Past guests include CNN's Candy Crowley and noted political writer Carl M. Cannon.

Airfare is provided courtesy of the program's exclusive travel sponsor, Continental Airlines.

The Weekly Reader Student Publishing Contest is unusual among literary competitions in requiring no entry fee. To learn more about the Weekly Reader Student Publishing Contest or to download an entry form, go to

About Weekly Reader
Weekly Reader has been creating cutting-edge, curriculum-rich supplemental materials since the debut of Current Events magazine in1902. The company’s unique digital products and 11 award-winning classroom magazines give teachers tools that help them achieve their goals while inspiring, informing, and engaging students. Weekly Reader materials reach more than 200,000 teachers and 6 million students from Pre-K to grade 12. In January 2010, the company introduced Weekly Reader Connect, an online reading program for students in grades 1 through 6. WR Connect consists of interactive, whiteboard-ready multimedia news units that are presented in concert with a reading-comprehension framework, the Concepts of Comprehension©, that supports the teaching of key reading skills. Weekly Reader is part of the Reader's Digest Association, Inc. For more information, visit

About AEP
The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) is a nonprofit organization that serves and advances the industry of supplemental educational publishing. The membership of AEP represents the breadth of educational content developers delivering progressive educational products in all media and for any educational setting.

AEP's thought leadership and market insight have created ground-breaking opportunities for its members to collaborate, network, and partner with each other as well as to acquire a voice in the development of government education policy. Founded in 1895, AEP now assists its members in navigating the global realities of educational publishing in the 21st Century. For more information, please visit

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