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Journalism Round-Up: Information to Start the New School Year

By Jeanne Acton, Journalism and ILPC Director | Tuesday, August 23, 2016 11:19 AM

And just like that it’s 2016-17. It’s hard to believe how fast time flies. When I started at UIL in 2004, I was pregnant with my first child. This morning, I dropped Charlie off at middle school. Middle school. Crazy.

Time is flying, and so are journalism teachers. Your lives are crazy busy, and yet every year, you manage to inspire your students to create amazing media. I am in awe of you, and I suspect this year will be no different.

As we start the year, I wanted to make sure I give you all of the information you could possibly need or want (plus a little more).

1. UIL JOURNALISM JUDGES' DATA BASE. The judges database is in its second year. If you like to judge UIL contests, please add your name to our list  at: (under JUDGES on right side of the page). If you already are in the database and want to add additional information or change anything (or maybe I inputted something incorrectly), email me directly. I will get it adjusted ASAP. Current and former high school/middle school journalism teachers are added automatically to the database. In order for others to be added, they must take a quiz on the four contests.

2. ILPC MEMBERSHIP. Please visit: (red button on the right) to complete your membership and pay your contest fees for the year. If you paid your membership through TAJE and plan on participating in our contests, please visit the link to pay contest fees. If you need information about ILPC and our contests, please don't hesitate to call or email. I would LOVE for every Texas school to participate in our contests this year.

3. YEARBOOK DEADLINES. Dec. 1 is the deadline for getting your 2015-16 yearbook rated, and it is the deadline for Yearbook Individual Achievement Award entries. Please visit: for more information.

4. CONVENTION. The ILPC Spring Convention is April 22-23, 2017. It is at the same time at the UIL Academic State Meet. You may be wondering how we are going to pull this off. Have no fear — I have the best boss in the world, Dr. David Stevens, and together we can make anything great!

5. COPY EDITING. The Copy Editing Contest will continue at a pilot for another year (offered ONLY at the District level). We are making some changes in the contest to ease the grading burden, but the concepts are staying the same. We hope to have a new sample test posted this fall. It will remain a 15-minute contest.

6. DISTRICT. The rumor is true. We will have only one week for district meets this year. Get your judges early. Also remember that you can hold the journalism events on a different day from the rest of your meet. That might help with securing judges.

7. CEN-TEX INVITIONAL MEET. We set the date for Saturday, Dec. 10. This is virtual contest. You hold the contest at your school (you can even pair up with other schools if you want), and then you email us your students’ entries. We will email you the prompts on Wednesday, Dec. 7. You can hold your contest anytime between Dec. 7 and Dec. 10. You can download the registration form and more information at

8. NEW TEACHERS. If you are a new teacher and have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email ( Or if you have new journalism advisers/teachers in your district or area, please have them email me so they can get on my email list.

Whew! That’s a lot of information, and more will come throughout the year. I email advisers during the year. If you would like to be added to that email list, please send me your email.

Have a great start to the 2016-17 school year. Remember to take some time for yourself every once in a while.

And finally, thank you for all you do. Teaching is the hardest job in the world. Teachers are underappreciated and overworked, but know this — you make a difference. You are changing lives EVERY DAY. The skills you are sharing with your students will help them no matter what journey they take in life. YOU matter.

I truly thank you for your hard work and dedication to Texas scholastic journalists.