Entries are invited in the following categories: School Newspaper, News, Features, Comment/Opinion, Photojournalism and Sport. The criteria and advice for the judges relevant to each category are below.

School Newspaper competition

This competition will allow the whole class to take part in this fun and educational project which will give students a hands-on experience of the news publishing process.

Teachers can take the role of Editor-in-Chief and assign roles to students such as researchers, writers, photographers, videographers, sub editors, reporters, and designers.

All articles must be written by the students and may include for instance, local news reports, interviews and articles about school events, sport events, book/film reviews, and opinion pieces on domestic and world affairs.

Do let us know who your intended audience is, your class-mates, the whole school, the local community or even the whole country

All entrants must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Entry is free, and is open to all schools and classes participating in Press Pass
  •  Ideallly, an A3-sized, portrait-orientation interactive PDF. An interactive PDF can include embedded audio and video content.
  • All entries must be created specifically for Press Pass 2022 and be suitable for displaying in a public environment.
  • Software programmes such as InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop can be used for the design of the newspaper. Alternatively, there are a number of free newspaper templates available online
  • Avoid including any content in your entries (e.g. text, images, brand names) to which you do not hold the copyright. If you do, you must be able to provide written permission for its use. Entries containing any unauthorised content will be disqualified. You can contact the following organisations for more detailed information and resources:
  • Please note that students can enter their individual Features/Sports/Opinion/ Photojournalism/News entries in both the individual categories and the school newspaper category.

News Writing Category

For your news article, you can choose from one of the following options:

a) Interview a local celebrity, politician,  or local personality. Write the article based on your interview

b) Identify an issue relevant to you, your school, or your area. Interview people relevant to the subject of your choice.

c) Focus on an event in your local area. Write an article giving details of what it is/has happened, how, why, when, and who was involved.

Maximum length 800 words (ideally no less than 600 words). This can also be submitted as a multimedia news article with video if you wish.

Advice from the judges:

  • Choose any news story in a newspaper that you consider to be a good news story and try and work out why you think it’s good.
  • It does not have to be an article about something of cosmic importance: it can be about something small and local, as long as you are sure it will be of interest.
  • Remember: short paragraphs, active verbs, plain but strong use of language.
  • If the story is about a row that’s going on somewhere, try to give both (all sides) a fair crack of the whip, without expressing your own view.
  • Write it so that anything that’s less important comes in at the end of the story, and the most important fact is right at the top.
  • Don’t just cut and paste from news that has already appeared elsewhere. Try and find out something that is really fresh and new, perhaps in your own locality.

Feature Writing Category

For your feature article, you can choose from one of the options below

a) Write a profile of a person/group/organisation you admire

b) Write a feature article about an issue relevant to you, your school, or your area.

Maximum 800 words, minimum 600 words.

Advice from the judges:

  • Engage the reader’s attention right from the start.
  • Use description as well as quotes etc to vary the pace and colour of the piece.
  • Opinion not excluded, but better expressed indirectly.
  • Remember that humour is exceptionally difficult.
  • Have a good idea of the audience you’re writing for, maybe specify this in a note attached to your article.


A thought-provoking, action-packed, shocking or beautiful image – you decide.

All entries must be submitted in jpeg format with a maximum image size of 3MB and a minimum of 1MB.

Advice from the judges:

  • If you haven’t taken any pictures yet, think about where you can go to take a newsworthy picture. Are there any interesting events coming up in your area where you could bring your camera?
  • If not, try and take interesting photos of everyday life. Press photographers have to do this all the time – for example, children enjoying a sunny day.
  • See how many different types of news photo you can identify. These can often be identified by the headings on the page where they appear, for example sport, local news, business, style and so on. Try to take different types of photo yourself.
  • When you find a good subject, take lots and lots of pictures, from different angles, closer in, further away etc. and only send in the best one.
  • Make sure the pictures you send to the competition are JPEG files only. Don’t put them in a written document, and don’t make them too small or they may be disqualified. Ask your teacher for help with these technical details.


An analysis of a current topic, an opinion style piece or a letter to the editor.

Analysis/ opinion between 600 and 800 words.

Advice from the judges:

Anyone can have opinions. A good opinion piece, however (and all the more so a good analysis piece) has an argument or a point of view that is supported by facts.

  • Arguing against accepted or conventional wisdom is sometimes a good idea – it helps you to get noticed!
  • Remember that, unless you’re already well known, your opinions won’t carry much weight unless there’s evidence that you know what you’re talking about.
  • Your own direct experience is often useful evidence in an argument/opinion. piece – but you have to remember that some of your readers may have had different experiences.

Sports Writing Category

A match report, an interview with a budding sports star, your account of a local sports event – have fun.

Maximum 800 words, minimum 600 words.

Advice from the judges:

This is the most difficult journalism of all. Everyone thinks they’re an expert, so what can you do to persuade them that you know more than they do?

  • Beware cliches. They act like lead boots in a sports story.
  • On the other hand, colourful, fresh comparisons, similes, metaphors (look them up if you’re not sure what they are) can give great colour and impact.
  • If you are focusing on one particular sports person, include non-sport info about him/her, and make sure in advance s/he’s interesting enough to deserve an article all to himself/herself.

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