Students and advisors look forward to the Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA), state convention as a rite of passage. The organization promotes journalistic excellence in teens throughout the state. The competition that took place April 12-14 at the Wyndham hotel in Orlando hosts groups of students statewide involved in newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, online media and broadcast. Over 1,200 journalists and advisers gathered to collaborate during the convention. FSPA provides opportunities to students and advisers to learn different ways to improve in all areas of journalism. Through use of expert speakers, hands-on-experience and district workshops, the convention engages students in real-life activities that enhance their skills in a variety of ways.
FSPA attendees participate in online competitions that take place in the fall and spring. The digital contests allow students to showcase their writing, design, photography, art, broadcasting and multimedia. A Best of the Best gets chosen for every category. Students can choose from nearly 50 different competitions to submit an entry for judging before the start of the convention. Contest entries include editorial cartoons expressing the political opinion of the author, yearbooks spreads featuring life on campus, feature photography of school activities and even the broadcast show opening video.
FSPA also provides a yearly evaluation and feedback from other publication advisers for newspaper, literary magazines, broadcast and online media. Evaluations help improve publications and multimedia programs. Publications receive comments about their strengths and weaknesses. The top publications and broadcasts receive an All-Florida award at the convention.
The On-The-Spots contests take place during the convention. Students receive their prompts on Twitter and are given a certain amount of time to complete the competition. The winners for the 2018 FSPA convention are:
-Kenzo Kimura: First place Editorial Photography, First place Feature Photography
-Joanne Haner: First place News Photo
-Spotlight Yearbook: First place Yearbook Team
-Ariann Barker: Second place short story
-Simran Dulay, Jordan Romeril, and Ariann Barker: Second Place Literary Magazine
-Dalya Ackerman: Second place Caption writing
-Harrison Krimsky: Second place Convention Snapchat Coverage
-Maia Fernandez-Baigun: Third Place Mixed Company
– Emily Myers, Sophia Donskoi, and Ruhi Mansey: First place press conference coverage
-Natalie Perez: Second place Hand Drawn Illustration
-Cole Holifield: Second place collaborative commercial
-Theodore Rackauskas: Second place Man on the Street
-Astrid Maldonado: Honorable mention Hand Drawn Illustration
-Amber Bhutta, Angela Lin, Katie Quesada, and Andrew Kolondra: Honorable Mention Newspaper Team