May 4, 2023

Our past three editions

April 27, 2023 School districts sue social media • “Don’t say gay” • SpaceX rocket

April 13, 2023 Medicaid • Pentagon leaks • Super Mario

April 6, 2023 South storms • Banned books • Gwyneth Paltrow



The blob has arrived

It’s now impacted Key West

We warned of its approaching a few weeks ago, but now it seems the seaweed blob has arrived in Key West, Florida. This massive blob of brown seaweed spans more than 5,000 miles and has an odor similar to rotten eggs.

What you can do —

With summer approaching and many taking vacations, now is a great time to have an interactive infographic on some of the areas not only impacted by the blob, but also by those that have also been impacted by flooding or other natural occurrences.


History course examined

Possible changes to AP offering

Last week, the College Board announced it was making changes to the framework of the AP African American Studies curriculum. For some schools, like this one in Tulsa, Oklahoma, it’s been well received by students. For some students in other states,  it’s a point of contention.

What you can do —

What is the status of the offering of the AP African American Studies course at your school? Has your school piloted the program? How has the course worked to help others understand history from possibly a new perspective?

What’s viral

WHCA hosts 2023 Correpondent’s Dinner

Roy Wood Jr. was this year’s comedic relief

The White House Correspondents Association hosted the 2023 Correspondents Dinner on Saturday, with President Joe Biden attending and comedian Roy Wood Harris Jr. being the not-so-serious foil.

What you can do —

What’s immediately striking about this event is that is a comedian first and foremost, but what he’s known for is being a comedian who helps share the news (he’s a correspondent with The Daily Show with Trevor Noah). 

What conversations have you had with your staff about experimenting with how to tell stories or even the importance of labeling opinion as such? For example, what web-writing concepts have you used and how have you utilized social media to relate with your student audience (think the Washington Post TikTok)? Have conversations with your leadership team to find out what could be done that you haven’t thought of?


It’s time to order!

Don’t delay any longer.

We’ve now hit the busiest season of the year, but don’t let that deter you. Just remember, we need at least three weeks lead time from when you order and the date it is needed. We have started processing and filling the May orders that have either a purchase order or payment. (Please remember, we need to have either payment or the purchase order in order to send your order.)

We still are not receiving mail on a daily basis. This is beyond our control. We are processing orders as soon as we can, but orders sent through the U.S. Postal Service may experience delays. The quickest way to submit an order is via our online system. If paying with a purchase order, you can submit the PO number and then we will still ship. If you want to use the paper version, that is fine. We suggest scanning and emailing these documents.

> Start the process here.

Scholarships for Students

Act now — deadline is May 12

Quill and Scroll will award scholarships again this year to students who want to study and/or practice journalism in college.

Student scholarship applications are now open, and they’re for students who are Quill and Scroll members or for students who have won awards in any number of Quill and Scroll contests. Apply for the grants — which can pay up to $1,500 for your first year in college — before May 12.

YEC open for entries

Looking for something to do after the yearbook deadline and before distribution? Enter the YEC!

The 2023 Yearbook Excellence Contest is open for entries. The cost for each entry in all 33 categories is $7, and schools will be divided by size — Class A for 1,000 or more students, and Class B for 999 or fewer students,

Entry deadline is Oct. 2, and here is a link to complete descriptions of those 33 categories.

Judges will award first, second and third places in each category for each class, and they’ll award honorable mentions so that between 10 and 15 percent of all entries are recognized in every category. All students named as award recipients will be eligible to apply for Quill and Scroll student scholarships in May of their senior year.

Quill and Scroll administrators will then tally points (5 for first place, 4 for second, 3 for third and 1 for HM) to determine a Blue and Gold Award winner for each class. Last year’s winners were Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (Class A) and Christ Presbyterian Academy of Nashville, Tennessee (Class B).

Here’s a complete list of last year’s winners.

Critique forms available

News Media Evaluation is the best way to get objective feedback about your news operation

The Quill and Scroll News Media Evaluation provides news media staffs a one-of-a-kind assessment of your publication(s) with constructive comments and suggestions for improvement from qualified evaluators. Judges will provide a thorough analysis and rating to schools, and the evaluation exercise and feedback are instructive and developmental.

High schools and junior high/middle schools may enter their multimedia news operations, newspapers, news magazines and/or online news sites until June 15, 2023. Entries and ratings are returned in early September 2023. This service is open to non-member schools as well as member schools.

Here’s the web page with all the information about entering your publication.

Workshop set for June 26-29, in Dallas

The Gloria Shields NSPA Media Workshop returns to the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria June 26-29, 2023, with bonus classes on June 25. Workshop registration is $140 per student or adviser.  The extra cost for the Sunday bonus class is $20 per person.

In 2022, 635 students from 90 schools took advantage of the instruction from our exceptional faculty. Watch the workshop website for additional 2023 workshop details as they become available.

> Watch the preview video for 2023.

Final Chapter activity/discussion point idea: 

This is our final Chapter activity of the year. We hope you’ve enjoyed this new Scroll feature. 

A few weeks ago, CNN highlighted 10 photos that heightened concern about climate change. 

Take a look at these photos — especially the hope part. What can young aspiring journalists learn from this as well? 

In what ways can student journalists highlight both concern and hope in their coverage? 

In what ways have the student journalists at your school covered issues that matter to students? How can you work to further fine tune your coverage for the end of school and for the following year?

Just a thought

I wish all of your students could have been at Tuesday night’s Student Advisory Board Collaboration Meet on leadership led by Arya Sharma (Westlake High School, Austin, Texas) and Kate Henry (Haas Hall Academy, Fayetteville, Arkansas). This group had so many snippets of amazing that I started writing them down part way through the discussion. 

While the discussion centered on overall topics of deadlines, working with others, work/fun balance, leadership qualities, they broke each of these down further through discussion. As you work to set goals for the following year, it’s great to keep these ideas and comments in mind.

Here’s what they said:

“Leaders need to delegate.”

“Transparency is important, especially when the discussion doesn’t involve everyone.”

“It’s important to remember that we create something for ourselves and the community. It’s for many others to enjoy.”

“Our advisers are there for support, and it’s great that the students make the decisions.”

“A leader should help others first.”

“Deadlines are important.”

“We base fun off of our work.”

“Practice helped me be a better leader. I started by teaching something small to others and teaching it is a great way to learn. Everyone can learn from one another.”

“Sometimes people are afraid and don’t understand what to do.”

And one final unprompted comment from a participant: “This has been really good. I know this is the last one, but I want to do these next year too.”

— Lori Keekley