IWPA’s Mate E. Palmer Professional and High School Communications Contests

The 2024 Contest Entry Submission Period for both
programs is now CLOSED. Congrats to all the winners!

The Mate E. Palmer Communications Contest, open to member and non-member students, journalists, public relations personnel, bloggers, designers, columnists, photographers, authors and many other types of communicators, is the premier contest of its kind at the both the state and national level.

Entering is easy, inexpensive, rewarding and a fantastic professional or freelance resume boost. We encourage communicators of all disciplines to take advantage of this opportunity to be recognized for their work. Enjoy professional accolades that open doors, a great networking conversation starter and a place in Illinois Woman’s Press Association/National Federation of Press Women history.

Membership Status 1st Entry Fee 2nd Entry
Member $20.00 $15.00
Non-Member $25.00  $20.00


*A one-time, $25 late entry fee is assessed to all professional contest entrants after the NOON January 17, 2024 deadline.

State affiliate first place winners progress to judging in the NFPW’s national contest at no extra charge. The NFPW’s highest point earners by state and individual receive cash awards!

Affiliate State Sweepstakes Winner: $100
Individual Sweepstakes Winner: $250

Other Benefits:

  • IWPA Member Discount: $20 for the first submission, $15 for each additional entry ($25/$20 for non-members)
  • Critical Peer Review: Entries receive written feedback from a professional judge working in his or her respective field
  • Ease: Online contest portal allows for a simple, paperless entry
  • Public Relations: Winner’s names are promoted via traditional and electronic press release, Association newsletter and a full suite of social media platforms

Benefits of Membership:

  • Annual student membership: $35. Professional NFPW/IWPA membership: $105. IWPA State-Only Professional dues: $30
  • Access to mentoring opportunities, reduced contest entry and event fees, and venues for promoting/selling your work
  • Board positions and leadership opportunities, which make an invaluable resume builder

Past Winners: