ACES Headline Contest to Return in May

ACES Headline Contest to Return in May

March 28, 2024 By Matthew Crowley ACES News

The national Headline Contest for ACES: The Society for Editing will begin taking entries in May.

This year’s contest will feature revamped entry count criteria and a narrower winner’s circle, and the entry period will be extended one time ahead of a shift in the publication period in the future. Instead of a Dec. 31 cutoff as in past years, the new cutoff will be March 31. 

So, for the coming contest, headlines, or titles, published from Jan. 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, will qualify for judging. For next year’s and future years’ contests, the entry period will be April 1 to March 31.

Individuals and staffs will be limited to one entry each. An individual’s entry will consist of exactly five headlines or titles. A staff’s entry will consist of exactly eight headlines/titles.

The deadline to enter will be May 31.

As ever, ACES’ annual Headline Contest — by our reckoning, the only national contest for headlines — will reward good work in print and digital media. Judges will rate headlines and titles not just for cleverness but also for sophistication, uniqueness, appropriateness, and stickiness — how well they capture readers’ attention.

This year, we’ll name one winner and one honorable mention for an individual and for a staff in each of our four traditional categories — national media, regional media, industry-marketing-other, and student. 

We’ll announce winners for the first time at our virtual conference, VCON24 in September. Winners’ plaques will be shipped to them; honorable mentions will receive certificates by digital download.

We’ll be seeking volunteer judges for the contest. More details on that, plus the entry fees and prize amounts, will be coming.

Matthew Crowley is copy chief at PolitiFact, the Poynter Institute’s Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website. He’s been an ACES member since 2001.

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