How to Enter

Contest entries will be accepted until midnight on Monday, April 10. Those submitted by midnight on Monday, April 3 will get $5 off their entry fees in every category but our top and special awards. We are also accepting applications for three $900 scholarships through Monday, April 10.

Submit your entries using the BetterBNC Media Awards Platform. If you have entered other contests on this platform before, either for last year’s contest or for the SD Press Club, you are already in their system and you just have to ask to enter the 2017 SPJ awards contest.

All contest entries must be submitted online (except for entries in the College Media Best Newspaper category, which must be mailed and postmarked by the contest deadline to SPJ to P.O. Box 880482, San Diego, CA 92168-0482). All entries must be entered by or on behalf of the individuals who produced the work and must identify those individuals.

To register or enter the contest online now, open a new browser window or tab to Keep this window open to refer to as you submit your awards.


To qualify for the SPJ member rate, the individual who produced the work – i.e. the reporter, photographer, designer, etc. – must be a current member of SPJ national and the SPJ San Diego Pro Chapter. It is not sufficient for an editor or other staff member to be a member to qualify for the member contest rate.

For entries with multiple entrants (i.e. multiple reporters who worked on a single article), at least one of the entrants must be an SPJ member to qualify for the member rate.

You may confirm your membership status by contacting us at or the SPJ headquarters in Indianapolis at

If you need to renew your membership or wish to join SPJ to take advantage of the discounted member entry fee, visit Join SPJ. Be sure to add the $10 dues for the San Diego Pro Chapter when paying online. If your national membership dues are current but you need to pay chapter dues, you may mail a check for $10 payable to San Diego SPJ to P.O. Box 880482, San Diego, CA 92168-0482.

Please ensure that your national and chapter membership dues are paid prior to submitting your contest entries.


If you have entered on the BetterBNC site in the past:
• Go to and click on “Open Call log-in”
• If you don’t remember your password, it will be sent to you
• From the drop down menu, choose “my contests”
• Click on 2017 SPJ San Diego Area Journalism Competition
• You can then start making entries.

If this is your first time, you must create your account:
• Go to
• Click Open Call Login
• Click Create your Open Call Account
• Fill in all information
• You will see a message that a verification link has been sent to your email

Present your credentials:
• Once you receive the verification link message, click on the link or copy into your browser
• Complete the credentials portion
• Once you see the “Credentials Updated” message, click on Available Contests
• Select the 2017 SPJ San Diego Area Journalism Competition

Submit Entries:
• On the Manage Entries page, click Submit Entry
• Select the appropriate Division (TELEVISION, RADIO, MAGAZINE, Etc)
• Select the appropriate media outlet from the drop down menu
• If your publication, website or station is not on the list, you may add it
• Select the appropriate Category. If you need guidance, read the corresponding Category Note (directly below the Category selection box), describing what is expected for the category’s entry content
• Complete the Headline/Title field
• Based on the type of entry, add content:
—To add URL links to content, copy and paste the content’s web address into the provided Web URL field
—To upload digital file attachments (other than audio/video), click Choose File, navigate to the desired file, select Open, and click Upload. Allowed file types are PDF, DOC, TXT, JPG, GIF, and PNG.
—If more than one attachment is desired for this entry, repeat these steps.
• To host your audio or video content online, either upload it to a free streaming content website (e.g. YouTube) or talk to your IT person about adding it to your station’s website. Make sure the content will be accessible online throughout the contest and awards process.

IMPORTANT: Please ensure that items are not behind a paywall or a password-protected area. If they are, you must provide username/password info in the Comments section of your entry. Judges may disqualify your entry if work samples are inaccessible.

• Click Next
• Add Credits for those responsible for the entry content. Be sure to add your own name here
• Add Comments (if applicable), but keep them brief (e.g. 100 words)
• Click Submit. This is your account – you can come back to it at any time during the call for entries time period until April 10.
• Once you have completed all your entries, click on Entry Fee Calculator and check to be sure all your entries are included
• We prefer that you pay for your entries online. Click on PayPal button to pay immediately (insert the amount due on the PayPal page)
• You may also pay by check. Simply print off an invoice showing the total due and enclose that with your check. Be sure to indicate the name(s) of the registered user(s) who submitted the entries, if not shown on the invoice.  Checks should be made payable to “San Diego Society of Professional Journalists.” Payments by mail must be postmarked by April 10, 2017.

Mail to:
SPJ San Diego Journalism Competition
P.O. Box 880482
San Diego, CA 92168

For College Media Best Newspaper entries:
• Submit and save the entry, per the instructions above
• Then go to the View Entries page
• At the very far right you’ll see a column labeled Print which will bring up a screen with all the pertinent information
• Print this out as your entry form
• Mail two copies of the entry form, your payment, and three issues of your college newspaper to SPJ San Diego Journalism Competition, P.O. Box 880482, San Diego, CA  92168
• Submit three complete editions of the newspapers published on or nearest to October 1, November 5 and December 3, 2016

Need help?
Many of your questions about the 2017 SPJ San Diego Area Journalism Contest can be answered on our website. Please review the contest information, including Guidelines, How to Enter, Categories, and FAQs there.  If you still have questions, contact  Put “SPJ Contest” in the subject field.


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