By Catie Schultz (@CatieSchultz17)
The Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association is sponsoring a yearlong writing contest for Wisconsin high school students as part of a collaborative effort with the Wisconsin Humanities Council and the Pulitzer Prizes Board.
Students will be able to submit their own work and have it judged by 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner, Raquel Rutledge from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as have the opportunity to win various cash prizes for their winning stories. Rutledge was the keynote speaker for NEWSPA’s 2016 conference, which kicked off the celebration and unveiled the writing competition.
The winning stories will be announced at the 2017 NEWSPA conference on April 26.The contest will help mark the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes in 2016, as well as Celebrating Excellence: One Hundred Years of Wisconsin Pulitzer Prize Winners, a program of the Wisconsin Humanities Council that is funded through a grant from the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative.
To assist students and their advisers, a 50-page curriculum guide called “Journalism in the Pulitzer Tradition,” was created by UW Oshkosh Journalism Department members, Barbara Benish, executive secretary of NEWSPA and Miles Maguire, journalism professor and a longtime NEWSPA presenter. The guide was designed to help encourage classroom discussion and give students tips to use for their own reporting projects. It showcases samples of previous prize-winning work in multiple categories such as beat reporting, commentary, explanatory writing, feature writing and investigative reporting, as well as includes potential sources and questions to ask.
This contest is an incredible opportunity to showcase student talent and inspire students to take their writing to a Pulitzer level, according to Benish.