NYSUT Communications Competition

communications competition

Winners announced for NYSUT Communications Competition

Congratulations to all the winners of this year's Communications Competition! We know how hard you work to keep your members informed. Thank you! This year we had a record number of entries.



2014 Best of the Best Winners


Best Creative Writing
Half Hollow Hills Active Retired Teachers Association
"Teaching with teachers in Ethiopia"

The use of language here is extraordinary. In an article that is both well-written and well illustrated with photographs, the author describes her experience teaching reading to teachers in Ethiopia. The author offers detail after detail about the country, the people, the problems, and this one, about a classroom: "Mud walls practically bare but for the peeling blue/green paint; wall-to-wall crude picnic style benches packed with youngsters attempting to share decrepit exercise books; a constant haze of dust amplified by a singular source of light entering through a narrow filmy window; and a lone, rough, loosely mounted slate board." An excellent piece of work and a great reminder of what dedicated unionists are doing every day to make their world a better place.

Yorktown Congress of Teachers

Best Use of Digital Media
Yorktown Congress of Teachers
"It's our turn to talk"

A compelling commentary on over-testing and a State Education Department that refuses to listen to the classroom professionals. Aside from the great message, the production values are tops. The image of the teacher, standing at a microphone, waiting in vain to speak to the issue, is priceless. An excellent and very effective video. The faces of the children, the taped mouths, and especially the repetition of the song lyrics on the test pages all combine to create an extremely persuasive "commercial."


About the NYSUT Communications Awards Luncheon and Conference

WHAT: Networking and professional development for NYSUT local union communicators
WHEN: Saturday, May 10, 2014
WHERE: NYSUT Headquarters, Latham

The Communications Awards Luncheon and Conference  is a great networking and professional development opportunity for union communicators, providing resources, recognition and praise for editors, webmasters, writers, photographers and other communicators who have produced stellar efforts for their locals' newsletters and digital media. The conference is open to all NYSUT members who want to network with other union communicators, see examples of top-notch efforts by their peers, learn communications skills, and access electronic networking abilities.

About the NYSUT Communications Competition

NYSUT locals and retiree chapters are all invited to participate in this year's NYSUT Communications Competition. We have made several changes to the contest: changing its name from the NYSUT Journalism Competition, extending the entry time frame, simplifying the entry process, updating categories to make them more relevant and streamlining the In-Service and Retirees divisions.

The deadline for entries was Jan. 6, 2014.

Winners will be announced and recognized at the Awards Conference to be held at NYSUT headquarters May 10, 2014. Entry forms and Frequently Asked Questions are available below and through the NYSUT Editors Groupsite, www.nysuteditors.groupsite.com. If you have any questions, please send us an email to: NYSUTcommcomp@gmail.com.

Entry Form

Frequently Asked Questions

What's different this year?

We listened to your feedback and have made significant changes. A longer (and more current) timeframe for entries, new rules, new entry form, new ways to submit entries, new categories, and we're working on a new format for the conference (stay tuned for more details).

Why isn't this called the Journalism Competition anymore?

The competition has been redesigned to reflect the changing ways in which you communicate with your members. The name Journalism (characterized by direct presentation of facts or occurrences) was changed in favor of Communications (the art or technique of using words and graphics effectively to impart information or ideas) to better describe the fuller palette of techniques currently used for communicating with members.

What happened to all the different classes?

Many of the classes had very few or no entries in certain categories. Other classes had tons of entries. There will still be two divisions: In-Service and Retiree.

What happened to the Best of the Best and Solidarity Awards?

Our judges found that on occasion stellar entries don't always fit under those two categories. While still giving homage to Ted Bleecker (the founding editor of New York Teacher), we wanted to freshen up the judges' special awards to encourage more locals/chapters to enter the competition.

How do I enter?

We've met with our IT Department, and we should be able to have things ready for all electronic entries within the next few years. In the meantime, we have created a downloadable, fill-in PDF form, which can either be printed out and mailed in, or be submitted electronically by email.

Do I have to fill out and submit a separate form for each entry?

Yes, we need an entry form to accompany each item being submitted for consideration. Forms may be downloaded from nysut.org/commcomp, or by emailing NYSUTcommcomp@gmail.com to request a form. Once you fill in the bulk of your information … make a copy of the form for each entry, updating pertinent information such as entry name and category, etc.

You may send your entry by mail to: Julie Bull/CommComp, NYSUT, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110. Or, you may send the entry form with your entry attached as a PDF, (or provide a working web address in the body of your email) to: NYSUTcommcomp@gmail.com.

Do we still need to "label" every article submitted?

No. Since there will now be a form attached to each article, it's not necessary to label each individual entry.

What if my entry is in a different format than a newsletter article; can it still be entered?

An "article" may also be in the form of an online post such as a blog or featured content on your website, a column, a story in a newsletter or other written works. It may include images and other elements that help illustrate the message.

How come we don't need to cut and paste articles onto paper?

We wanted to save you some work! You may submit an entire page, and then just cross out the non-entry content so it's clear which article is being entered. Having the entire page of your newsletter or website can also provide its name and other pertinent information so we can match up articles easier.

Could our entries be disqualified?

Yes. If the work was not original (original work is designed/written by you, a member or your staff), it will be disqualified (and might even be considered plagiarism). If your submitted entry is not produced during the competition time frame (this year, entries must be produced between Sept. 1, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2013) or, if your entry is received too late, it could be disqualified.

How can I improve my chances of winning an award?

You may enter up to three entries in each category. The more entries you submit improves your chance of earning awards. Make sure entries have no typos and use correct punctuation. Make sure to check the proper spelling of names, correct dates of events and other pertinent information included in your articles. Also, if we cannot read your writing, especially when entering a long Web address, the judges might not be able to access your website. Please always PRINT or TYPE your entry forms.

What if I have questions that haven't been addressed yet?

If you have specific questions about your entries or the corresponding forms, contact us at NYSUTcommcomp@gmail.com.