GSPA Spring Workshop and Awards

The Georgia Scholastic Press Association and its members from across the state will celebrate the best in scholastic journalism at the Spring Workshop and Awards. The event will be held at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education on Monday, March 27, 2023. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. A workshop will lead the event, 9-11:45 a.m., followed by a banquet-style awards luncheon at noon, catered by the Georgia Center. Professional dress is suggested.

We will recognize recipients of awards administered throughout the year, including the Summer Yearbook and Literary Magazine contest winners, Georgia Champion and Junior Champion Journalists, First Amendment Essay finalists, Achievement Award winners and Spring Broadcast, Newspaper, Newsmagazine and News Website contest winners. Watch for registration information and other details here:

GSPA membership is open to high and middle school- sponsored newspapers, news magazines, yearbooks, literary/creative magazines, broadcasts, and online media staffs in Georgia. Email with questions.

‘Purpose-Driven Press’: Alumna Keysha Lee delivers inspiring keynote address at GSPA Awards

Two-hundred fifty high school journalists and teachers from around the state learned about ways they can put purpose at the center of their media programs during the Georgia Scholastic Press Association‘s Spring Awards ceremony April 11, 2022, at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

Keynote speaker Keysha Lee (ABJ ’97), an award-winning show host and filmmaker, businesswoman and author, delivered the inspiring message. She defined purpose as “a sense that the work you’re doing is deeply needed.”

Lee challenged scholastic journalism advisers to create a classroom environment where purpose is at the center of what is produced and created. She also outlined why it is important for student journalists to create a feeling among their staff and peers that student media has a bigger meaning. “You have to get everyone on board for that purpose-driven press,” she said. “Everyone has to buy in.”


Lee ranks as a Top 100 bestselling author on Amazon with her first book “Keysha Lee Presents Filmmaking 101.” Clayton County Library System offers her book in its collection to patrons at all seven of its branches. Her book also serves as the official text for Kansas City Public School’s Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts.

As a business owner, Lee leads her own media company, Leeway Productions. She stands out in the industry as the youngest black-owned business to gain a partnership with Fulton Films in Georgia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication Arts from Grady College and a Master’s in Education from Alabama State University.  She currently serves on Grady College’s Alumni Board.

GSPA Spring workshop and awards

Join GSPA and its members from across the state in celebrating the best in high school journalism of the GSPA at the 2019 GSPA Spring Awards. The event will be held at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel on Tuesday, April 9.

This year’s event combines favorite elements from awards celebrations over the years.  It will begin with a morning conference focused on professional development from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and will conclude with a banquet-style awards luncheon, catered by The Georgia Center, starting at noon. Professional dress is suggested.

We hope you’ll join us for this special day honoring all of your hard work and a major milestone for GSPA!

Registration will be open early February. Attendance is free for advisers and $25 per student.

Record number of high school journalists learn from industry experts at 2016 GSPA fall conference

Learning from the experts: More than 800 high school journalists, yearbook staff members and advisers attended the 2016 Georgia Scholastic Press Association’s fall conference, held Oct. 26-27 at the University of Georgia.

The conference boasted 61 classes for students to take based on their publication and interests. These ranged from yearbook, newspaper and broadcast classes to classes specifically focused on using Adobe products, learning how to interview and advice on how to better manage and help staffs.

“Since this was my first time planning the conference, I was a bit nervous and excited. I was astoundingly surprised by the number of attendees,” said GSPA Director Roxanna Gandía. “After speaking with a couple of advisers, I was thrilled to learn how students were enjoying themselves and leaving sessions having learned something new. It made all those months of preparation worth it.”

Throughout the conference, students involved with all mediums—from newspaper to broadcast—attended sessions given by experts in their individual fields.

One expert was Mark Johnson, head of the visual journalism program at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  Johnson led two sessions on photojournalism: one for beginners and an advanced session for those looking to learn more about their cameras functions and abilities. In his first session, Johnson covered the motive behind taking a photo, and why it is important to care about your work. “You want to be looking for those moments of surprise, you want to be there for those moments of joy, and we have to care about the people we cover,” Johnson said.  “If you care, it shows.”

In attending these sessions, students were able to see that they weren’t alone in their struggles; other staffs had issues to work through, as well.

Philip Li, a senior from Lakeside High School and editor of his school newspaper, had one such realization in the “Real Talk” session led by Jon Reese, adviser at Decatur High School. “It made me really appreciate our staff’s cohesiveness and supportiveness of each other,” Li said. “It was beneficial to hear the problems other schools had faced and how they got through them and to learn from other experiences to better my staff.”

Many students also benefitted from the sessions by learning tips to fix problems they had been facing in their individual work. Also a senior from Lakeside, aspiring rapper Arjun Ray attended a session on caption writing. “I write a lot of perspectives pieces and I’m always told to better my captions, so I went to ‘Caption Writing and More,’” Ray said. “I found out that what you should do is make your caption so specific to your school that you couldn’t put it in another school and make it fit.”

Though there were plenty of sessions for students to attend, that wasn’t the only reason they came to the conference. Some attended exclusively to participate in the on-site contests: a photo contest, a publication critique and a first issue competition. The photo contest had six entries, while the first issue competition drew 11 newspaper entries, seven news website entries and three newsmagazine entries. Seniors Aelise Gagliano and Kristen Sherman, photojournalists from Starr’s Mill High School, are members of The Prowler. Both Gagliano and Sherman entered the on-site photo contest. “I got a camera for my 16th birthday. It’s my favorite thing to do and it’s what I plan on doing the rest of my life,” Sherman said. “I entered the contest to see if they liked my photos, to get a general critique.”

At one of the last sessions of the day, students had the opportunity to hear the results of the summer contest winners.

In the literary magazine category there were three school divisions: Small, Medium and Large school. The Small school winner was Woodward Academy for Silent Voices. The Medium school winner was Clarke Central High School for The Iliad.  The Large school winner was North Forsyth High School for Threshold. Of the three winners, Clarke Central received the “All Georgia” rating.

In the yearbook category the amount of entries this year was so high that winners were split into four categories: Small, Medium, Large No.1, and Large No.2. Winning for the Small category was Darlington High School’s Jabberwokk. The Medium category had two winners: Chestatee High School’s The Eagle and Woodward Academy’s Phoenix. The winner for the Large No. 1 category was Union Grove High School’s Wolverscenes, and the winner for Large No. 2 was West Forsyth High School’s Zephyr.  Of the five winners, Darlington School’s Jabberwokk received the “All Georgia” rating. Of the individual entries, there were twenty winners between the Literary Magazine and Yearbook entries with 54 entries being given a “Superior” rating.

Founded in 1928 by Grady College faculty, the Georgia Scholastic Press Association serves high school journalists and teachers in the state of Georgia. The organization hosts an annual fall conference, a spring workshop and a biennial advisers workshop. For more information about GSPA, visit