Accepting 2021 contest entries!

The Iowa Newspaper Association is excited to begin accepting entries for the 2021 Better Newspaper Contests. These contests, held annually, were developed to foster competition and quality among Iowa’s newspapers. To encourage participation, INA will again offer “coupons” for three free entries to newspapers who did not enter the 2020 contests. In addition, INA will offer incentives to newspapers who prepare their entries without error. See the contest timeline below for more information.

The deadline for entries is Friday, October 16, 2020. Entries must be submitted by Oct. 16 at 4:30 p.m. No exceptions or extensions will be made to the deadline. If your newspaper hasn’t begun selecting the items you want to submit, now is the time to start.

Entries will, again, be submitted electronically using the online entry submission tool at For the four categories that require complete sections or issues as entries, INA members may mail paper tearsheets of their entries. Entry information for hard copy entries must still be submitted to the online contest tool and entry tags created from the online site. All entries in the Total Newspaper Design category must be submitted in hard copy format.

Content published on digital platforms is eligible for entry in select categories. Eligible categories are indicated by a computer symbol throughout the Call for Entries. To enter digital content, provide a web link (URL) to the article/photo/ad, or a screenshot (in jpg format) of the material from when it was published. For categories such as Coverage of Education, Coverage of Business, etc., your entry can consist of a combination of print and digitally-published content. We ask they you chose five examples per category this year.

The Call for Entries and Entry Guide found at contains detailed, step-by-step instructions on using the online system,

Members of the MDCC Press Association will serve as judges of this year’s contest entries.
New categories for 2021:

Photography Category: Best Photographer

Writing Category: Best COVID-19 Coverage

The weekly division class breakdown changes annually based on the current year’s contest participation. For the 2020 contests, classes will be: 


CLASS I – Under 10,000

CLASS II – 10,000 and greater


CLASS I – 910 and under

CLASS II – 911-1,500

CLASS III – 1,501 and above

If you have questions during the contest entry preparation process, please contact the INA at 515-244-2145 or

Click here for entry information.