Full list of our categories
Remember, your project can be entered across many categories, but our minimum criteria for entry is just one.
Best Magazine Cover
This award recognises excellence in the design of a magazine cover. Judges will be looking at the design of the cover, reader appeal and incentive to read, easily digestible information about content, creativity and innovation in the design and presentation.
Best Newspaper Front Page
This award recognises excellence in the design of a front page of a newspaper. Judges will be looking at the design of the cover, reader appeal and incentive to read, easily digestible information about content, creativity and innovation in the design and presentation.
Best Illustration and Artwork
This award recognises excellence in illustration and artwork. The judges will be looking for and assessing artistic merit, asking themselves how well the illustration or artwork tells a story, how well the illustration or artwork is used in the context of the feature or article, the quality of the illustration or artwork and how well the illustration or artwork is captioned or explained.
This award recognises excellence in the overall design of the project. The judges will be looking for a blend of creative flair as well as a direct link between the topic or theme of the project and its target audience. While the application of design varies depending on the media you’ve chosen, the common threads of originality, a willingness to take risks – while not forgetting readability, are central to a successful entry.
This award recognises excellence in illustration. The judges will be looking for and assessing artistic merit, asking themselves how well a cartoon tells a story, how well the cartoon is used in the context of the feature or article, the quality of the cartoon and how well the cartoon is captioned or explained.
This award recognises excellence in photography. The judges will be looking for and assessing artistic merit, asking themselves how well a picture tells a story, how well the picture is used in the context of the feature or article, the quality of the photograph and how well the photograph is captioned or explained.
A school podcast or radio programme should be the audio equivalent of a magazine – newsy, topic-driven and engaging. The entry could be an excerpt from a school radio programme, or just a recording of students discussing a single issue or variety of topics that is a free download which students can access. The recording should be a one-off programme around 15-30 minutes long and submitted as a MP3 or upload to a free service such as SoundCloud or YouTube.
Writer of the Year
This award recognises excellence in feature writing. Judges will be looking for choice of topic in the context of the editorial product, how well the introduction captures attention, how well the theme is developed and concluded, the readability of the article and use of language and words.
Scoop of the Year
A new award for 2024, ‘Scoop of the Year’ is sponsored by the London Press Club. Its Chair, Doug Wills, explains, “Our London Press Club Scoop of the Year award recognises students who go the extra mile to find great stories on their doorstep. Whether that’s a revealing interview with a local politician, helping support a local public service under threat or telling a human interest story that makes the reader smile – we can’t wait to read all about it.”
Editor of the Year
Every Shine project needs a great editor, a team leader who has a clear vision for the publication or website. This award recognises a special talent in sourcing the best material for the project, ensuring a consistency, readability and high quality throughout. An editor always needs to be aware of the (often scant) resources at their disposal and how to make the most of them. Judges will be looking for an editor who lead by example, encouraged their team bringing out the best in their fellow pupils and delivered a singular publication with its own voice.
Best Overall Content
This award recognises excellence in the overall standards of the content. The judges will be assessing the range, choice and balance of content, the standard of writing and illustrations, layout and design, the balance of content through the publication and the use of headings and illustrations. Appropriate audience focus will also be considered.
Increasingly schools present Shine with entries which encompass several media which might include print, podcasts, video, web projects or e-publications. This new category is for schools who want to try projects with more than two or more of these media. The projects should be thematically joined under a single banner. A good example might be a e-publication with embedded audio, or a website with YouTube video.
Best Business and Marketing Strategy
The judges will be seeking evidence of pupil involvement both in formulating and carrying out a clear Business and Marketing Strategy. This should include: a brief statement about why the publication exists and why it is continuing; more detailed examples of what messages they use, and how they get, the finance required (internally and externally if appropriate); details of how they identify and differentiate the target audience(s) of the publication and how that dictates the content; how it is distributed, etc. The judges will welcome evidence of novel ways of enticing and encouraging readership (and sponsorship where applicable) with numeric comparisons with previous years to show progress. Finally, examples of entrepreneurial activities will be welcomed.
Best Sustainability Initiative
Show how your work has led the way towards an environmentally focussed future, possibly with your local community in mind.
Best Piece on a Designated Topic
Each year we invite entries on a particular topic which has flooded the news. The entries can take any form: visual, aural, or written.
Most Inspirational Teacher
This award recognises the excellence of a teacher in leading the development of an editorial product produced by pupils.
The Terry Mansfield CBE Award for Tomorrow’s Talent
In this award category the judges will be looking for a pupil who has shown outstanding qualities of leadership in the production of a content-based communication. The winner will have demonstrated a good understanding of the elements which go to making up a good newspaper, magazine or website. Additionally they will have worked well in a team-based project; and shown evidence of understanding the audience for their product. In essence, providing ‘what readers want’.
These prestigious, overall awards are decided at the collective discretion of the judges.
Every year we recognise schools who have submitted a great entry that for whatever reason hasn’t won a specific prize. The aim of this initiative is to encourage new entrants to try again next year and build on their endeavours.
The Harrison Cup
In addition to these categories, the judging panel will nominate an overall winner to receive the Harrison Cup to hold for one year. The Harrison Cup is awarded to a school that the judges consider ‘that special something’, bringing a fantastic level of inspiration, innovation or professionalism to Shine.