Monthly Clip Contest

The February contest is now closed for entry. The March contest will open shortly.

Enter Here

 Still Photojournalists may enter published work in the regional Monthly News Clip Contest.Winning entries are put in the running for the monthly National competition, and earn the journalist points towards the regional Photographer of the Year award.

 Improvements to the Clip Contest in 2016:

  • Entrants should NOT include their name and credit line in image captions. Entrants MUST though ensure they've filled out the proper fields in their IPTC info to ensure their image is not disqualified.
  • Regions have changed from the number 1-11 regions to the new named geographic regions. Entrants should take special note as to which region they fall in now.
  • Sports has been broken into two categories: Sports Action and Sports Feature.
  • Feature/Multiple has been renamed Photo Story/Essay to better reflect the entries that should be submitted to the category.
  • The Portrait/Illustration category has returned and will be held monthly.
  • Entrants have until 11:59 PM PST on the 10th of each month to enter their clips.
  • Entrants will be awarded five points for each month they enter.
  • Entrants will have a maximum of twelve entries each month.

2014 Monthly Clip Point Tally

The Monthly Clip Contest is one the most popular and long standing  of NPPA member contests. It provides members an opportunity to share their work and compete against some the best photographers in their region each month. It also provides an opportunity for critique of images and the chance for winning members to share their work with both members and non-members alike.

For general questions about entry please contact your regional chair or the NPPA home office at [email protected] If you are experiencing any technical difficulties with your entry please contact [email protected]

Christine Hochkeppel
Worcester Telegram & Gazette Worcester, MA
Phone: 508-340-3198
Email: [email protected]

Steve Russell
The Toronto Star
Email: [email protected]


Matthew Apgar
The Northwest Herald
Crystal Lake, Ill.
[email protected]

Matt Stamey
The Gainesville Sun
Email: [email protected]

Jane Tyska 
Oakland Tribune / Bay Area News Group - East Bay
Oakland, CA 94621

Larry Steagall Kitsap Sun [email protected]

The contest is open to all members in good standing whose dues are paid for the month of the competition entered. New or renewal dues must be received by the national office during the contest month. (Note: dues paid by check may take up to a week to process; please plan accordingly.)

Members submit entries online in the region in which they reside or work. Interns or students may enter in either their region of residence or in the region where they work or attend classes, but not both.

Only published entries are eligible. Publication is defined as printed or electronically reproduced by a commercial enterprise. Simple database postings are not eligible. "Commercial enterprise" does not necessarily mean a for-profit endeavor, and discretion in determining the form or context of a "commercial enterprise" is granted to the regional clip chairs. Entries may be from any publication or enterprise except those produced by NPPA, including wire services. Entrants may be asked to show proof of publication on a case-by-case basis or risk disqualification of the image.

Neither the name of the photographer nor the publication or enterprise may be shown visually on the image (that is, no watermarks or badges should appear).

All entries must have a caption, which may be either the original published caption, or a freshly produced caption that clearly explains what the picture shows.


Before uploading your images please make sure that your File Info/IPTC caption information area is filled out correctly.

Please place the following information in the specific corresponding text fields. The contest chair has authority to disqualify any image that fails to have the required IPTC information properly placed.

Caption* = IPTC Caption (Photo Mechanic) or IPTC Description (Photoshop)

Photographer’s Name = IPTC Credit

Publication Name = IPTC Source

*DO NOT place your name or credit information in the caption field.This is no longer a requirement of entrants.

Captions should include the date the image was shot in proper style i.e. “John Smith chops wood on March 14, 2015.”

Entrants should clean their captions of any internal publication notes and wording. Clip chairs will not clean up captions and judges are instructed to judge entries on the complete merit of photographs – caption and image.


All images must be saved as Good quality JPEG files with a maximum dimension of 2,750 pixels on a side (11" at 250 dpi). Image files should be 3 MB or less.


Each image file that is entered must be unique. Therefore we are asking that each entrant at the start of the image filename put the category abbreviation then a underscore (_) then their phone number then a underscore (_) then the storyslug then a underscore (_) and then a sequentional number.

  • Feature/Single = FTSG
  • Sports Action = SPAC
  • Sports Feature = SPFT
  • Photo Story/Essay = PSES
  • General News = GENW
  • Spot News = SPNW
  • Portrait/Illustration = POIL

Please label your images like the following:


For multiple images within the same single entry continue story slug and numerical sequence:



SPNW_2125551212_BarnFire_04.jpg, etc.

Single image entries should ONLY end _01.jpg.


A maximum of 12 entries may be made each month in any combination of the seven categories.

Multiple picture entries can be made in any category EXCEPT Feature/Single.

Multiple picture entries made in the Photo Story/Essay category should have a continuous narrative or theme throughout the images. A collection of photos from a funeral, for example, should be entered in General News – the funeral is a planned event, the collection shows the timeline of event. A collection of action photos from an NCAA Tournament game could be entered as a single set in Sports Action. A series of photos that follows a team throughout the NCAA Tournament and tells the story of their journey which consists of more than just action or feature photos alone could be placed in the Photo Story/Essay category.

Any series of related pictures published in more than one month may be entered as a single entry for the month in which they were published.

A picture can only be entered once in the contest. If a picture is published at a later date, after it has already been entered in a previous month's competition, it can not be entered again.

Similarly, the same picture cannot be entered in more than one contest category for the same month, nor may a picture entered singly appear as part of a multiple-picture entry for the same month. If the same picture appears in more than one entry for the month, the regional chair may disqualify one or both entries.

An entry must have been first published in the month it is entered in the contest. For example, an image shot or published in February must be entered in February's competition. Photographs published later in "year-end" galleries are not eligible to be entered. This rule does not apply to multiple picture entries which may have been photographed over the course of months or even years. This rule is to try to maintain a level playing field for all entrants in order to more fully realize the spirit of the competition.

If an entrant is confused or not sure of a picture's eligibility, it is suggested the photographer contact their clip chair before the contest deadline and get a clarification. It is up to the photographer to solicit the clip chair's permission beforehand (or risk having their entry disqualified).

Each entry must be the work of an individual photographer.

It is understood that any copyright of an entry remains the property of the photographer or employer of the photographer.

However, all participants agree that by entering the contest, entrants give permission to NPPA for its regional and national publications to reproduce winning entries, including but not limited to, regional publications, News Photographer magazine, commercial online services and NPPA presences on the Internet. Reasonable precautions will be taken to ensure the security of electronic reproduction.

NPPA may also enter into agreements with other entities or enterprises for delivery of images entered in the contest. Release of the original photo of any image entry is solely at the discretion of the entrant and any entrant may decline to release any photo for non-NPPA publication without penalty to regional contest standing.

Spot News - SPNW
Coverage of events for which no advance planning was possible. Examples include, but are not limited to, accidents, fires, natural disasters and spot police action. Each entry may consist of multiple images.

General News - GENW
Coverage planned events was possible advanced planning was possible. Examples include, but are not limited to, courtroom events, funerals, news conferences, mock exercises, and campaigns. Spot news that develops during the course of planned events (such as riots at a protest) should be entered in Spot News. Each entry may consist of multiple images.

Sports Action - SPAC
Action photos from a sporting event. Each entry may consist of multiple images.

Sports Feature - SPFT
Feature photos from a sporting event. Photos found outside the action of competition. Each entry may consist of multiple images.

Feature/Single Picture - FTSG
Images and subjects that don't fit in Spot News, General News, Sports or Illustration. Typically found moments or slices of life. Pictorial images - images that show graphic and aesthetic qualities of a subject with strong emphasis on composition - may also be entered here. Single images only.

Photo Story/Essay - PSES
Entries in this category must include multiple images. The category is intended for more in-depth work including photo essays, picture stories, investigative/documentary work, sequences, or series. Images from planned events or sporting events may be entered in this category but ONLY if they possess a narrative arc through the entry.

Portrait/Illustration - POIL
Controlled portrait of a subject. Uncontrolled entries may also inlcude photos that reveal the essence of a subject's character. Digitally manipulated or staged or constructed photographic illustrations may also be entered here, with proper note on the type of manipulation or set up in the image's caption. 


Each photographer entering the contest receives five points per month entered. First place receives 50 points, second place receives 40 points and third place 30 points. No ties or honorable mentions will be awarded. Points count only in the region in which they are earned and cannot be transferred.

If a winning entry is disqualified for any reason, the next place will be moved up to fill the disqualified image's spot. For example: If the first place winner was disqualified, the second place winner will move to first place; the third place winner will move to second place. An alternate image – if the judges have selected one – will be moved into the third place position and receive 30 points. The judges will be asked to pick four winners in each category, but in the off-chance they do not, there will be no third place winner and the 30 points will be lost.

Judges have the authority to not award a third place image if the entries within a category are exceptionally weak or not enough entries are present.

If an image is disqualified, the photographer may challenge the ruling. In that case, the photographer would appeal to the national clip chair. The national clip chair and two other regional clip chairs (from a different region than the photographer who is making the appeal) will make the final decision. The photographer must supply any information they feel will help make his/her case or that the MNCC Appeals Committee asks for. A decision will be made within three weeks of the appeal.


The photographer who accumulates the most points in each region during the calendar year will be named Regional Photographer of the Year, provided the photographer has shown versatility by winning in at least two of the seven contest categories during the year. In case of a tie, both photographers will share the title.

In case of a year-end tie within a region's top 10 scores, the rank(s) beneath the tie will be skipped for the next award. For example, a two-way tie for top place leaves third place for the next highest photographer.


Immediately after monthly regional judging, first, second and third place winners in all regions will be combined and judged to select national first, second and third places in each category. No additional points are awarded for national wins, but national winners may appear in national NPPA publications.

The photojournalist with the most points at the end of the year will receive a plaque and be named National Clip Contest Photographer of the Year.

Entries are due by 11:59:59 PM PST on the 10th of each month.

Example: Entries from October need to be entered by 11:59:59 PM PST on November 10th.

International members have the same uploading deadlines as U.S. entries.