Professional Communications Contest

2022 sweepstakes winners are, from left, Lori Potter – first; Mary Jane Skala – second; and Jessica Votipka, third.

Communications professionals who are paid members of Nebraska Press Women may enter the Professional Communications Contest. The contest is judged by experts in the field, and each entry receives feedback from the judge.

General categories include writing; editing and page design; photography and graphics; radio and television; web and social media; advertising; public relations/ promotion/ publicity; speeches; books and creative writing. Each category has several subcategories.

All who place in the state contest are notified and invited to attend the spring NPW convention Communications Contest Awards Banquet. The top three winners (those scoring the most points in all of the categories entered) receive 1st, 2nd and 3rd place Sweepstakes Awards.

All state first place winners who are paid members of the National Federation of Press Women have their entries advanced to the national contest. Winners of the national contest are invited to the NFPW annual convention where certificates are presented and an overall National Sweepstakes Winner is announced and presented a plaque.

See the Contest Rules page for more specific information or email the NPW Contest Director listed on the  Contact NPW page.

Find out more about the contest and entry categories.  Deadlines for 2022 were:

Dec. 31, 2021 – Deadline to pay 2022 NPW dues (must be paid to enter the contest)
Jan. 2, 23, 2022 (noon) – Early-bird deadline
Feb. 2, 2022 (noon) – Final book deadline
Feb. 9, 2022 (noon) – Final entry deadline

Watch for information this fall on how to enter the 2023 contest and deadlines.

2022 Contest Results

The top three award recipients in the NPW Communications Contest earned first, second and third place in Sweepstakes competition. Sweepstakes winners are determined by a point system based on the number of awards earned and the strength of competition in each category.

Lori Potter of Kearney is the 2022 NPW Sweepstakes Award winner, with 21 awards, including eight first place, five second place, five third place and three h onorable mentions. This is the second consecutive year she has won the top Sweepstakes award. Although retired from the Kearney Hub, she continues to do freelance pieces and a personal column for the newspaper. She is also a regular contributor to the Flatwater Free Press.

Mary Jane Skala, also from Kearney, is first runner-up in the Sweepstakes competition. She won 18 awards: 12 first place, five second place and one honorable mention. She is a reporter and personal columnist at the Kearney Hub. She was also first runner-up in the NPW Sweepstakes competition last year.

Both Potter and Skala have also been Sweepstakes winners on the national level.

Jessica Votipka of Grand Island is the second runner-up in the Sweepstakes competition. A reporter at the Grand Island Independent, Votipka won 14 awards: three first place, six second place, two third place and three honorable mentions.

View a list of the 2022 Communications Contest winners by category.

Lori Potter receives NFPW Sweepstakes Award.

Lori Potter, right, receives the Sweepstakes Award in the NFPW 2018 Professional Communications Contest.