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University of Texas at Austin
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UIL Journalism Contests

Elements of the Contests

The UIL sponsors five journalism contests - News Writing (45 minutes), Feature Writing (60 minutes), Editorial Writing (45 minutes), Headline Writing (30 minutes) and Copy Editing (15 minutes). Students compete at the district level, and then the top three places advance to regionals. From regionals, the top three places advance to state competition. The UIL journalism program has seen increased participation in recent years. Many contests winners have gone on to excel as professional journalists.

Journalism Events Overview

Editorial writing teaches students to read critically, to digest and prioritize information quickly and to write clearly, accurately and succinctly. Emphasis is placed on mechanical and stylistic precision, news judgment, and the ability to think deeply, to compare and contrast and to argue or defend a point of view persuasively.

Feature writing teaches student to read critically, to digest and prioritize information quickly, and to write clearly, accurately and succinctly. Emphasis is placed on the same writing skills as other UIL Journalism Contests, as well as the ability to write descriptively.

News writing teaches students to read critically, to digest and prioritize information quickly and to write clearly, accurately and succinctly. Emphasis is placed on mechanical and stylistic precision, lead writing, use of direct and indirect quotes and news judgment.

Headline writing teaches students to read critically, to digest and prioritize information quickly and to write clearly, accurately and succinctly. Emphasis is placed on the ability to discern key facts and to write with flair and style in order to tell and sell a story.

Copy Editing teaches student the vital skills of proofreading and editing to create accurate, clear and succinct writing. Emphasis is placed on the ability to find and correct grammatical, spelling, punctuation, AP style and factual errors.

Cen-Tex Invitational Meet

The Cen-Tex Invitational Meet is a journalism-only virtual meet hosted by TAJE (Texas Association of Journalism Educators) and ILPC (Interscholastic League Press Conference). All prompts are written by Jeanne Acton, the UIL journalism director, and Rhonda Moore, the former TAJE executive director. Coaches who participate will receive the prompts by Wednesday and then have until Saturday to administer the contests. For questions, please email Jeanne Acton at 512.740.3463.

CEN-TEX Invitational Meet (Journalism only) -  Jan. 16, 2021

Additional Information

Use of Laptops

State Contest Director

Jeanne Acton, Journalism
jacton@uiltexas.org

Dr. Bradley Wilson, Copy Editing
bradleywilson08@gmail.com

PowerPoints of Contest Overviews

Additional Resources

The practice materials below provide additional resources for journalism teachers and students. For sample stories, email Jeanne Acton.