Columbia Scholastic Press Association

CSPA is an international student press association, founded in 1925, whose goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques and award programs.

What’s going on at CSPA this Fall?

As usual, the CSPA office has been very busy with judging, awards and conference planning. Here’s what to expect for Fall 2017.


Gold Circle Awards

The 7,093 entries from the 86 categories in our Gold Circle Awards for newspapers and magazines were judged during late August. The master awards list is being prepared now for posting on our website before month’s end. Printed award certificates will be mailed in October.

Additional Gold Circle entries from 80 yearbook and digital categories are due by October 13th with judging to follow later this year. Those Gold Circle Awards will be announced in February 2018.


Medalist Critiques

Over the summer, we have completely redesigned the critique process, both for our adviser-judges and for our Regular Members.

The all-new, Web-based critique/survey system replaces the aging PDF process that we've had in place since 2011. Adobe has committed neither time nor resources into further improving the Acrobat/Reader software or the PDF forms technology. We found that the entire process using PDF forms no longer met the needs of our judges and/or our members.

The new system allows for simpler access to the judging criteria on a variety of desktops and mobile devices. Critiques for every publication type and for almost every publishing platform have been meticulously crafted from scratch.

A total of 12 critiques are currently active, with one to two more in the development process.

While this complete overhaul is designed to heighten the quality of the evaluation provided to CSPA Regular Members, it also means that the distribution of critiques this year will be delayed.

Inquisium by Cvent, our service provider, is completing custom software to output our critique/survey data into a reader-friendly format. We hope to test this new software at the end of September. If testing proves successful, we could see completed critiques sent in early to mid-October.

There is no common release date for the Critiques as they are individually prepared by our adviser-judges under our supervision. Please be patient.


Crown Awards

Crown Award consideration begins September 15th-17thfor magazines, both print and hybrid. Crown Award newspapers (both print and hybrid groups) will be judged during September 22nd - 24thYearbooks will be judged here from October 20th - 22nd with final Crown judging for digital (online only) sites to be completed October 21st.

These Crown judging rounds will provide Crown Finalist lists, each of them either Gold or Silver Crown winners. All will be invited to our March Conventions to receive their awards, at which time the Golds and Silvers will be revealed.

The Finalist lists will be published on our website about 10 days after the individual judging rounds complete. We will alert all members to these announcements with email alerts and postings on our Twitter feed (@CSPA).


Fall Conference

Our 78th annual Fall Conference will take place at Columbia University’s campus on Monday, November 6th, featuring between 80-100 sessions on all aspects of student media work.

More info can be found at our event website.


Future events

After the Fall Conference, we will shift into high gear planning our 94th annual national Spring Convention (March 14th-16th, 2018).

The Convention event site will be launched in October and emails will alert all members when registration is open.


Thank you for your participation. Good luck with your publishing year!