Overall Yearbook Critiques

Dear MIJA members and students,

Welcome to MIJA’s annual Overall Yearbook critique! I hope you are gearing up for an amazing year with your 2023-24 publication. 

Thank you for entering the first phase of the annual contest. The Board and I hope you find this entry process quick and user friendly.

The purpose of our state contest is to honor the work of Missouri’s student journalists and advisers and to provide professional critiques and services that will support and enhance journalism education. We hope you find this critique service useful to help your publications grow.

Filling out all of the forms accurately and completely will enable a more efficient process and ensure timely feedback to you and your students. If you have questions at any time during the entry process, please do not hesitate to contact the contest committee at [email protected].

Please exercise patience and understanding as we work hard to provide the best possible experience for you and your students. MIJA Board members are volunteers who are teachers just like you. Please contact me with any concerns or suggestions on how we can improve the contest process.

Good luck!

Jamie Munoz

MIJA President


Please be sure to check your current memberships for the types of publications your school registered.  Schools must have been members during the year in which the yearbook was created in order to have it critiqued. For example, books created during the 2022-2023 school year are eligible for the 2024 critique/contest, since awards are recognized the following spring.  You will MAIL your book to the judge listed below based on whether your book is distributed in the spring or in the fall.


Please be sure to check your current memberships for the types of publications your school registered. 

EXTRA LARGE SCHOOLS:  1,700+ population

Blue Springs High School
Blue Springs South High School
Fort Zumwalt West High School
Francis Howell High School
Francis Howell Central High School
Joplin High School
Kickapoo High School
Kirkwood High School
Lee’s Summit High School
Lee’s Summit North High School
Lee’s Summit West High School
Liberty High School
Liberty North
Lindbergh High School
Marquette High School
Nixa High School
Park Hill High School
Raymore-Peculiar High School
Ritenour High School
Rock Bridge High School
Staley High School
Timberland High School

LARGE SCHOOLS: 1201-1,700 population

Battle High School
Central High School (Springfield)
Fort Osage High School
Francis Howell North High School
Glendale High School
Grain Valley High School
Ladue Horton Watkins High School
Lafayette High School
Lebanon High School
Liberty High School (Wentzville)
Mehlville High School
Neosho High School
North Kansas City High School
Oakville High School
Oak Park High School
Park Hill South HIgh School
Parkview High School
Parkway Central High School
Parkway South High School
Parkway West High School
Pattonville High School
Raytown High School
Truman High School
Washington High School
Webster Groves High School
Willard High School
William Chrisman High School
Winnetonka High School

MEDIUM SCHOOLS: 701-1,200 population

Belton High School
Clayton High School
Kearney High School
Platte County High School
Raymore-Peculiar South Middle School
Rockwood Summit High School
Rolla High School
Ruskin High School
Sikeston High School
Smithville High School
University City High School
Van Horn High School

SMALL SCHOOLS:  1-700 population

Boonville High School
Chamois High School
Clinton High School
Columbia Area Career Center
East Prairie High School
Herculaneum High School
Hermann High School
Hickman Mills Freshman Center
Knox County High School
Lawson High School
Notre Dame de Sion High School
Puxico High School
Raymore-Peculiar East Middle School
Richland R-1 School
Salisbury High School
St. Pius X High School
St. Teresa’s Academy
Warrenton High School
Warsaw High School
Wright City High School


CONTEST: Overall Yearbook

  • Deadlines to Enter
    • Books Published & Distributed In The Spring – postmarked by July 15, 2023
    • Books Published & Distributed In The Fall    – postmarked by Sept. 16, 2023

All contests use the same rating system. It is possible for more than one entry to earn the same rating; therefore, multiple “winners” are possible.

  • All-Missouri – 450-500 points
  • Superior – 400-449 points
  • Excellent – 350-399 points
  • Honorable Mention – 300-349 points
  • No Award – below 299 points


  • By entering the contest, the teacher and/or school certifies that all work is student work completed in the current school year and does not infringe on any copyright issues. If you or your staff members need further guidance when it comes to copyright, please consult the Student Press Law Center: http://www.splc.org/page/copyright.
  • Examples of the rating sheets judges will use are available at this LINK.
  • As the judge completes your publication’s critique, MIJA will email the teacher the critique in a digital document. 
  • MIJA will follow the instructions you give on your entry form regarding what should happen with the copy of your yearbook. You may choose to let the judge keep the book, let the judge recycle the copy, or have the judge return the book directly to you.
  • Publications earning the highest All-Missouri and Best of Show ratings will be honored at J-Day 2024. Yearbooks earning Superior, Excellent or Honorable Mention ratings will earn certificates, which will be distributed at J-Day in packets by school. 
  • A listing of all awards earned in the contest will be made available on the MIJA website and/or listserv within a week of J-Day.


Entries may be disqualified for the following reasons:

  • Piece does not fit the category in which it was entered.
  • File not submitted properly, such as file name does not follow formatting instructions given.
  • Corrupt file or link.
  • Piece violates copyright.


  • Non-printed MIJA/MJEA Honors Ratings:  If an adviser requests it in writing ahead of the actual critiquing, the publication’s MIJA Honors Rating will not be printed or announced by MIJA. An MIJA Honors Rating certificate will still be awarded and sent to the publication.
  • New Advisers’ MIJA/MJEA Honors Critiques:  Advisers in their first or second year of advising may request that a publication’s MIJA Honors Rating not be printed or announced, and the adviser also may request that an Honors Rating not be assigned.


If you would like to print these instructions to a printer or to PDF, please do so from inside this file, and not from your web browser. It will preserve the formatting and perform better for you.


Please contact the MIJA executive board at [email protected] with any questions.  


Please read these rules carefully.   Failure to adhere to the rules may result in disqualification.


  1. Use this ENTRY FORM to enter your book for critique.
  2. Mail one copy of your yearbook for evaluation. 
    1. All entries must be postmarked no later than the deadline:
      1. Books Published In The Spring – postmarked by July 15, 2023
      2. Books Published In The Fall – postmarked by Sept. 16, 2023
    2. If you wish, you may write a letter to accompany your yearbook and explain how the theme was chosen, how the book was built, challenges faced this school year, or other information you believe may help the judge give you valuable feedback.
    3. If you wish, you may send a copy of last year’s critique to the judge. This would help the judge AND you.

Judges’ addresses:

    • Michelle Rivera, 6321 El Risco, El Paso, TX 79912
    • Michelle Rivera, 6321 El Risco, El Paso, TX 79912
    • Ben Langevin, 404 Tradition Lane, Winter Springs, FL 32708
    • Sara Gonzales, 15318 Hillside Park Way, Cypress, TX 77433
    • Michael Malcom-Bjorklund, 1817 N. Laura Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206
    • Sam Deane, 1465 North St, Noblesville, IN 46060
    • Marie Jones, 8743 Cherry Lee Lane, Lantana, TX 76226
  • FALL – SMALL –
    • Ellen Kersey, 3694 Bayonne Dr. SE, Salem, OR 97317
    • Sergio Yanes, 11887 Newton St, Westminster, CO 80031
  • FALL – LARGE –
    • Sergio Yanes, 11887 Newton St, Westminster, CO 80031
    • Trevor Ivan, 515 23rd St. NW, Massillon, OH 44647
  1. The judge will send the publication to the destination of your choice from your entry form and email the publication critique to MIJA for processing. 
  2. Judges have eight weeks from the seasonal deadline to complete their work, so you’ll receive timely feedback to help your students’ work in the next yearbook.
  3. Judges will send the critique to the MIJA office for confirmation.
  4. Then MIJA will email the critique to the school adviser.
  5. MIJA will enter the data to the list of ratings and issue any certificates earned at J-Day 2023. If you are unable to attend Journalism Day these items will be mailed to you.