DPAA 2020 Awards

DPAA Writing & Photography Awards

Jump to:  Silver Writing Award   |   Page One Writing Award    |   Kasle Photojournalism Award   |   Entry Forms


About the Awards

The DP Alumni Association has created three awards to honor the very best student writing and photography in the DP and its related print and online publications. These awards are accompanied by cash prizes of $500.

The process to enter is simple and you can do everything online: no clips to prepare, no fussing with the copy machine, no wasted paper, no last-minute trek to the DP office to turn in your entry — and there’s no entry fee. For a chance to win some serious, cold hard cash, can you spare about five minutes to find your best work from the past year and fill out a quick online form?

Read the rules and entry requirements below. Then review your work from 2020 and choose what you’d like to enter. When you’re ready, click the appropriate link at the bottom of the page to complete the entry form. It’s that simple.

Entries will be judged by a panel of professional journalists who have served on the DP staff. The award will be presented at the annual staff Banquet in January.

Only one entry per student, per award. Students who shared bylines may enter as a team. Entry deadline is Tuesday, December 22, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. For writing awards, you will supply the URL of the article as it appears on one of the DP’s websites. (These awards are about the writing, and not how they were displayed in the paper.) Judges will not base their opinions on reader-submitted comments which may appear after the article. For the photography award, you will upload a JPEG file of your photo, as well as provide the URL of the article or slideshow where the photo was published.

The Michael A. Silver Writing Award

With a gift endowed by DP alumnus (and former Board of Directors member and DP Alumni Association President) Michael Silver (Col ’76), this award honors outstanding student writing in The Daily Pennsylvanian and its related publications. The contest is open to all writers. Only one entry per student. Our most prestigious award comes with a $500 prize.

This is strictly a writing award. The panel will be asked to evaluate the quality of writing, not the importance of the story or the investigative talents of the reporter.

Entries must consist of a single article, or up to three articles on a single subject or closely-related topics. Each part of a series and/or each sidebar count as an article. The judges will seek to award quality, not volume. (For example, three columns on different subjects cannot be packaged together as one entry. But three columns all addressing the ineffectiveness of student government could be submitted as one entry.) All student writing that appeared in The Daily Pennsylvanian, 34th Street Magazine, or any DP-related websites during 2020 — news, sports, features, opinion, blog postings — is eligible. (And there have been winners from every department in previous years.)

The ‘Page One’ Writing Award

Recognizing the importance that quality news reporting and writing has on the image and reputation of any newspaper, the DP Alumni Association has created this award to honor outstanding student news reporting and writing in The Daily Pennsylvanian. Only one entry per student. This award, created by DP alumnus (and former DP Alumni Association President) Bob Frost (Col ’60), also comes with a $500 prize.

This award seeks to recognize the best news reporting — either first-day, breaking news or enterprise/investigative reporting. The panel will be asked to evaluate the importance and thoroughness of the reporting as well as the quality of the writing.

Any news stories that appeared on Page One of The Daily Pennsylvanian or in the top three story rankings of Dear Penn or theDP.com during 2020 are eligible. All entries must consist of one article, or up to three articles on a single subject or closely related topics. (An optimal entry would include the breaking news story and at least one follow-up.) Each part of a series and/or sidebar count as an article. (Follow-up stories or sidebars need not have appeared on Page One, as long as at least the initial article did.) The jury will seek to award quality, not volume, however.

This contest is separate from the Michael A. Silver Writing Award, which focuses solely on the quality of writing. Articles may be entered in both contests if appropriate, but two separate entries must then be submitted.

The Daniel Kasle Photojournalism Award

With a gift endowed by DP alumnus Daniel Kasle (Col ’75, Wh ’79), this award honors outstanding student photography in The Daily Pennsylvanian and its related publications. This is strictly a ‘Photo of the Year’ award. The panel will be asked to evaluate the quality of the photograph, including its news value. (That is, a purely artistic photo of squirrels on Locust Walk is not what the judges will be looking for.) And you must select what you feel is your single best photo; the judges will not consider your overall body of work. All forms of DP still photography — news, sports, and features — will be considered, and all types have won in the past. This award comes with a $500 prize. (This is a prize for still photographs; sorry there is no contest for videography at this time.)

Only photographs published in print or online during 2020 are eligible. Only one entry per student. You may re-crop it, color-correct it, sharpen it or otherwise make it optimal for judging. (Proper contrast, cropping, and sharpening can be the difference between a good picture and a winning picture; a purple-skinned subject could damage your entry’s chances of winning!) You must re-size your submission so it is not a massive file. The preferred size is a maximum of 800 pixels in the longest direction (that is, either 800 pixels wide for a horizontal shot or 800 pixels tall for a vertical shot), with a resolution of at least 100 and not more than 150 pixels per inch. Make sure the file is in RGB color mode, and save it as a JPEG file with Maximum Quality (finest setting — or least compression, if you’re using a program other than Photoshop). Your resulting file should be under 1 MB in size.

Please locate and prepare your photo before starting the entry form, as completing your entry form will require you to upload your photo.

Do It! Click below to submit your entry

Determine your best work for any (or all!) of the awards, and find the article(s) or photo on our websites, so you can copy-and-paste the URL. For photo applicants, locate and prepare your JPEG file according to the instructions above. When you’re ready, click on the link below:

DPAA Writing Awards Entry Form

DPAA Photojournalism Award Entry Form

Questions? Problems? Send an email to DP General Manager Deb Howlett at howlett@thedp.com