Common Sense Tips for Submitting Your Critique and Contest Entry


Allison Fortner, University of Georgia

by Allison Fortner, NACT Vice-President

As the spring semester comes to a close, you may begin to reflect on the pieces of work you spent hours perfecting throughout the course of the year. Maybe you got a grade or published the piece and moved on to the next item in your portfolio. But there is no reason your work should be forgotten. Submitting your work to the National ACT’s Critique and Contest is the best way to see how your work stacks up against other ag comm students from across the nation. Don’t know much about C&C? Don’t worry, it’s a simple process, and I’ll guide you through some common sense tips for successful submission.


Getting to know the contest layout

Critique and Contest is our national communications and journalism competition for ACT members. This contest allows students the opportunity to have their work analyzed by professionals and judged against members across the nation. Categories include writing, publication, electronic media, photography, design & layout and public relations. You can enter most of these categories through the online platform All publication division categories except “online publications” must be mailed in.


Online submission madness

If you have never used, don’t stress about it. Simply set up an account using the Submission Guide on our I suggest you create this account as soon as possible and submit your work. If something gets messed up in your entry, I may be able to let you know. If there are errors with your submission, there is no guarantee you will have the opportunity to resubmit before the deadline.


Read those rules

Also on is a handy dandy set of rules that require your attention. There might be several small rules you overlook, such as the required size of photo submissions, how writing category entries should look in manuscript form and the medium for video submissions. Our judges are excited to see some fantastic student work, and we don’t want them to miss yours because it’s in the wrong file format.


Use that first free entry

Whether you’re a freshman or a seasoned ACT member, chances are you have at least one piece for which you would like some feedback. Your first submission is free. That’s right. No charge. That’s like getting a free large cup of high quality coffee just handed to you, except this will help your career. All subsequent entries are $5 per submission. Be sure to mail your check to Dr. Cartmell at Oklahoma State and make sure you’re a paid National ACT member so we can accept your entry.


Submit your entry today

It’s inevitable that your schedule will get crazier as the semester’s end draws near. Whether finals loom over you or group projects begin to consume your life, school will only get more stressful. Decide what you want to submit, make sure it’s in the correct format and submit your entry during your next free moment. You’ll feel so much better after you have this checked off your list, not to mention the satisfaction of knowing you can meet a deadline with time to spare.


Still scared to take the plunge?

If you are on the fence about submitting your work or have questions, please email me at We want this year’s competition to be the best yet, and you can make this possible! Good luck and we’ll see you at the Critique and Contest Awards at Ag Media Summit!