Entry Rules

Instructions/Submission Requirements

The Southeastern Journalism Conference hosts the annual “Best of the South” contest for member institutions. Entries must be submitted electronically for all categories.


A. Enrollment. All entries must have been published, aired or distributed Nov. 15, 2019-Nov. 14, 2020. Entries must have been written or produced by undergraduate students who were enrolled full-time or part-time at an SEJC member college or university during this timeframe. This includes seniors who graduated during this period.

B. One student, one entry. Each student is allowed to submit only one entry in the individual awards categories (Nos. 1-23). There are two exceptions: Each school may designate three students who can submit entries in two different individual categories (special designees). And all students, whether they have entered one category or not, may be entered into the College Journalist of the Year category.

Other than the two noted exceptions, students who submit entries in two or more individual categories will be disqualified.

School categories are not subject to the one-student, one-entry rule because the awards are presented to the institution, not individuals.

C. One school, one entry per category, plus. Each school is allowed to submit one entry per category. However, if a school did not enter any one of the individual categories (Nos. 1-23), that school may submit two entries in another individual category. (does not include the school categories.

If a school did not enter any two individual categories (Nos. 1-23), that school may submit as many as three entries in one individual category.

In all cases, however, the one student, one entry rule still applies.

D. Multiple authors. Individual entries written by more than one student are acceptable. If a single entry is submitted by more than one student, as in the case of co-authors, double bylines or co-producers, the single entry is considered to be each of the student’s one allowable entry. In any category in which the entry or entries contain a byline with multiple authors, at least one of the authors must be on all of the articles entered. All bylines on a story must be listed with each entry in this category.

E. Eligible media. The SEJC contest accepts items written or produced by students that were published, aired or distributed by any newspaper, magazine, website, radio station or TV station listed in the current issue of the Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media or Editor & Publisher International Yearbook.

No categories are limited to work for campus publications or campus stations except for the school categories.

Entries in magazine categories (Nos. 11, 12 and 27) must be from stand-alone publications. Magazines that are produced as supplements to newspapers or as yearbooks are ineligible.

Items that appeared on websites are also acceptable if the website is connected to a newspaper, magazine, radio station or TV station or is a stand-alone news site officially sanctioned by a campus department of journalism or mass communication.

F. Names. All entries in individual categories (Nos. 1-23) must bear a specific student’s name(s). Entries with no name or marked as staff or the name of a publication will be declared invalid if entered in these categories.

G. Items to be entered. All entries will be submitted in digital form in a contest website. All entries must have been published in print or online, or have been broadcast during the contest dates of Nov. 15, 2019-Nov. 14, 2020.

H. Enter online. Entries will be submitted online at www.sejc.org in Fall 2020. The deadline will be Friday Dec. 11, 2020.

I. Certification. The faculty designate for each member institution must complete an online certification form by submission deadline. The faculty designate will be required as part of that certification to list the categories the school is entering and the name of the special student designee who is allowed to enter two individual categories.

J. Notification of finalists. In advance of the SEJC convention, advisers will be emailed a list of students at their school who are contest finalists so those students (or their representative) may be present at the convention to pick up their awards.

K. Judges’ comments: Judges’ comments on each entry will be made available to the faculty designate of each member institution at the SEJC convention.

L. Unclaimed certificates. All unclaimed certificates will be mailed to faculty designates at the schools involved within six weeks after the convention.

M. Attendance at conference. SEJC member schools that were not represented at the two most recent annual conventions are ineligible to compete in this year’s Best of the South. If they are represented at the next convention, they will be eligible to compete next year. Those schools that have not attended but have participated in the conference through substantial volunteer judging, conference planning or event coordination will be considered on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the SEJC officers.

Promoting Journalism in the Southeast Region