Teacher registration deadline is January 9, 2020; entry submission deadline is April 9, 2020

Lancaster County Votes: The LNP|LancasterOnline Journalism & Design an Ad contest kicks off in anticipation of 2020, a presidential election year. Formerly known as the Newspapers In Education, or the NIE program, this contest gives Lancaster County students in grades kindergarten through 12 opportunities to showcase their writing and artistic talents, demonstrate an understanding of history and current events, and convey the importance of being informed and engaged citizens.

2020 Journalism contest entries must focus on topics related to:

  • Patriotic symbols such as the flag, the eagle, the national anthem, red white and blue.
  • Voter registration and voting.
  • U.S. presidents throughout America’s history.
  • The media’s role in democracy, elections and an informed electorate.
  • A 2020 campaign issue.

For 2020 Design an Ad entries:

  • A class of students will be paired with an LNP|LancasterOnline advertiser.
  • Students will strive to convey the advertiser’s mission and message to the public.
  • Content for this portion of the contest is NOT required to focus on the Lancaster County Votes theme.
  • Some high school classes will have an opportunity to design digital ads.

The LNP|LancasterOnline Journalism & Design an Ad contest offers an excellent opportunity for educators to encourage students to:

  • Think independently.
  • Be creative and constructive as they communicate and express themselves through words and art.
  • Challenge artistic talent.
  • Meet academic standards.

First-place entries will be published in an expanded LNP Schools section Tuesday, May 21, 2020, and featured on LancasterOnline. First-place students and their teachers will be honored at a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 21 at The Pressroom restaurant. Additionally, first-place winners will receive certificates and  cash prizes.


Register for the Journalism portion of the contest by emailing

Register for the Design an Ad contest by emailing

All registration emails should include Journalism & Design an Ad Contest in the subject line and the following information in the body of the email: teacher name, phone number and email address; school name; school district; grade level; and number of entrants. Registration deadline is 5 p.m. Thursday, January 9, 2020. NOTE: All teachers who meet the registration deadline will be entered in a drawing for a $100 gift card to purchase classroom supplies. Please note:

  • Each teacher must register annually because records are not kept from previous years.
  • Journalism entrants may begin the contest process as soon as their classes are registered.
  • For the Design an Ad contest, teachers will receive their assigned advertisers, and directions, via email, U.S. mail or personal delivery. Information will be sent/delivered to teachers in January 2020. (Advertiser logos will be emailed to participating teachers at the same time).


Each teacher must complete a contest summary sheet for his or her class(es); a student entry form must accompany each entry.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 5 P.M. THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2020. All teachers who meet the April 9 deadline will be entered in a second drawing to win a $100 gift card to purchase classroom supplies.

Click Here to Download the Forms

Journalism art & writing entries

Email submissions are preferred, and should be sent to Art should be sent as a jpeg attachment; stories and editorials should arrive as Word attachments.

Submissions, with a postmark dated no later than April 9, 2020, can also be mailed to: Journalism Contest, Attn: Barbara Hough Huesken, LNP Media Group Inc., 8 W. King St., P.O. Box 1328, Lancaster, PA 17608-1328, or dropped off in the LNP lobby between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hand deliveries must be made before 5 p.m. April 9.

Check that your students have completed all sections of their entry forms. Encourage students to write legibly; they must include the teacher’s first and last name on the form.

Return ALL entries; we will consider every entry UNLESS the word count greatly exceeds the limit noted on the entry form.

Please complete the summary sheet and send it with your students’ entries. It will help us make sure that your students’ entries are checked in.

Journalism judges are Lancaster Lebanon Reading Council members and LNP|LancasterOnline newsroom staffers.

To view teacher directions, judge’s rubric, entry forms, and examples of previous winning entries, click on the links in the sidebar.

Design an Ad

Each registered Design an Ad teacher will receive an email with information and student materials including their assigned advertiser in January 2020.

Because local advertisers financially sponsor the Schools section featuring contest winners, they are familiar with Lancaster County schools and teachers. They look forward to receiving student entries.

From these entries, the advertiser will select the first-place winner to represent his/her business in the May 21 Schools section.

Emailed submissions are preferred and should be sent to Mailed submissions, with a postmark no later than April 9, 2020, can also be sent to Design an Ad Contest, Attn.: Carter Lynn Arnesen, 8 W. King St., P.O. Box 1328, Lancaster, PA 17608-1328. Submissions can be dropped off at the LNP lobby between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.