Helping Mississippi's students share their stories since 1947.

Helping Mississippi's students share their stories since 1947.


Helping Mississippi's students share their stories since 1947.





MSPA’s fall and spring statewide conventions are the largest gatherings of high school journalists in Mississippi. This is YOUR day! We’ll have more than 30 sessions geared toward ALL publication types, including yearbooks, lit mags, online-only programs and those of you who kinda do it all.

Here are all the need-to-know details…

Anna Wolfe to Delivery Hamilton Keynote Speech

Anna Wolfe is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who covers inequality & corruption in government safety net programs, nonprofit service providers and institutions affecting the marginalized. She began reporting for Mississippi Today in 2018 after she approached the editor with the idea of starting a poverty beat, the first of its kind in the state.

Wolfe has received national recognition, including the Pulitzer Price for Local Reporting, the Livingston Award, and the Goldsmith Prize for Investigating Reporting, for her years-long coverage of Mississippi’s welfare program. In her investigative series The Backchannel, she exposed new details about how state officials funneled tens of millions of federal public assistance funds away from needy families and instead to their friends, families and the pet projects of famous athletes.

Previously, Wolfe worked for three years at Clarion Ledger, Mississippi’s statewide newspaper, where she covered city hall, health care, and wrote stories about hunger and medical billing, earning the Bill Minor Prize for Investigative Journalism two years in a row. Born and raised on the Puget Sound in Washington State, Wolfe moved to Mississippi in 2012 to attend Mississippi State University, where she currently serves on the Digital Journalism Advisory Board. She has lived in Jackson, Mississippi since graduating in 2014.



The registration site is up and running!

It’s also linked under ‘State Conventions’ on our main site.

Registration is $25 per student for MSPA members.  For non members, it is $35 per student. Advisors attend for free. Breakfast and Lunch will be provided.

We’re not collecting any payments online or via mail.

You’ll need to bring payment with you to the check-in table on the morning of the convention.

We will only be accepting cash or check (personal or school, your pick). Checks should be made out to MSPA or UM Foundation.

One disclaimer about this:

Even though you’re not physically paying for your attendees until you get to Oxford, you will be required to pay for the number of attendees you pre-registered for. I know things happen. I know students flake on you at the last minute. But because of food and other event costs, it has been our longstanding policy not to refund any registration fees for students who don’t attend. You can always sub in someone else in their place, and you can always add an additional student or two later if you need to, but we’ll expect your school to pay in full for the number of students registered.

The registration deadline is March 25

Please register your school as early as possible. Early registrations really help us in planning appropriately for the necessary number of sessions, etc.

This schedule mirrors that of previous years.

You’ll check-in at UM between 8-9 a.m., drop off any publications you brought for the swap table and have breakfast. At 9 a.m. we’ll have a brief welcome and overview of the day before dismissing students to three rounds of breakout sessions starting at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., respectively. Then lunch. The student lunch will start at 12:15-ish (whenever they’re dismissed by their 11:30 instructor). The adviser luncheon will start buffet service at noon with a brief awards ceremony once we’ve fixed our plates. We’ll wrap up the day with the Hamilton Keynote and the Best of MS awards program.

You should be able to be on the road headed home no later than 2:30pm.



If you are traveling from a far enough distance to necessitate hotel accommodations, MSPA has secured discounted rates on blocks of rooms at the hotels listed below. These are by no means the only lodging options in Oxford, and you’re of course free to book anywhere you like, but these are the closest ones to campus.

The Inn at Ole Miss
120 Alumni Drive
University, MS 38677

Guests can make reservations by calling 1-888-486-7666 and referencing the MSPA Group. Reservations may also be made online at www.theinnatolemiss.com and reference the group code 0424MSPA.

Holiday Inn
112 Heritage Dr.

Oxford, MS 38655
(662) 236-2500

To book at the Holiday Inn, just mention the MS Scholastic Spring Conference block when you call.

Call for Sessions

As always, one of the primary goals of our time together should be to share best practices with each other. If you would like to volunteer yourself or your students — especially your students — to lead a session at MSPA, please email MSPA Director R.J. Morgan a proposed session description (just a couple of sentences) by March 1. 

These sessions could involve basic skills instruction, roundtable discussions, current events, some new tech tool that’s working well for your school, etc. If there’s something, ANYTHING, you think the rest of us could benefit from collectively, pitch it. I can always help refine it if needed. We’ll schedule as many of these as space allows.



MSPA facilitates three $1,000 scholarships for our in-state universities.  Eligible seniors planning on majoring in journalism/communication at Ole Miss, MSU or USM may apply for their school’s scholarship using the link below.  Deadline is Friday, March 8.


Best of Show Contests

These competitions are something we started long ago in order to honor the good work your students published after our February 15 Best of MS deadline, like this month’s newspaper or broadcast, or stuff that’s still “in progress”, like unpublished yearbook or lit mag spreads, or simply stuff you thought was awesome but couldn’t quite squeeze on a published page somewhere or into another contest, like cool photos or videos. These contests are only for those schools attending our fall convention, though the actual students who produced the work aren’t required to be present. A full list of categories is attached below.

Each entry is $5 (paid during registration or at check in) and there is no limit to the number of entries you can submit.

Entries will be accepted via Google Drive until Thursday, March 28.

Contest Categories 


March 1 — Session pitches due

March 8 — Scholarship applications due

March 25 — Spring convention registration due

March 28 — Best of Show entries due

April 2 — MSPA Spring Statewide Convention


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