By Dana Neuts | February 21st, 2012
The deadline for entering the 2011 SPJ Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest is tomorrow evening, Feb. 22 at 8:59 p.m. PST. There will be no further extensions, and no exceptions to this rule. Here are a few common concerns that Ruth and I have heard over the last few days:
1) SPJ Membership Discount – SPJ only offers individual memberships, so media organizations like The Seattle Times and KOMO TV cannot be members. SPJ members entering the contest may apply a $5/entry discount to each entry. Nonmembers, however, must pay the full fee of $25/entry for regular entries and $55/entry for General Excellence entries. There has been some confusion with the rule this year. However, this rule is not new.
2) “Labels” – BNC will provide you with a “label,” or a receipt, for your entry. This is for your records only. You DO NOT need to mail it to us unless you are submitting a General Excellence entry. If you are, print off the label and mail it with your entry. Your entry must be postmarked by Feb. 22.
3) Payments & Receipts – If you are paying online, PayPal will send you a receipt. We will not produce separate receipts for online payments. We will also not confirm receipt of payment with you individually, because of sheer volume. However, we will verify payments and completeness of entries one by one. If your entry is complete and paid for, you will not hear from us. If there is a problem, we will contact you via email to resolve the issue. Payments must be made online by 8:59 p.m. on Feb. 22 or mailed and postmarked by Feb. 22. No exceptions without my approval.
4) Support – During the next two days, Ruth and I will field dozens – possibly hundreds – of emails and phone calls. We will answer queries in the order received. Please help us make the best use of our time. When emailing, copy us both on your email. The first one available will respond to your request. If you are phoning us, only call one of us. Otherwise, Ruth and I could both be fielding the same question when one of us could be helping another entrant.
I apologize if these rules seem harsh, but with close to 250 entrants and 2,500 anticipated entries, the volume of work is huge. Ruth is a part-time, paid assistant for the contest, and I am working as a volunteer. These rules help us to manage the process. Thanks for your understanding and your patience!