Young Writers, Just How Good Are You?

NSNC Scholarship 2016

By Mike Leonard
Scholarship Chairman
National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Poster for NSNC's 2016 College Columnist Scholarship
Click for a PDF of this flyerDistribute to college columnists!

BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — Menahem Pressler, the co-founder and pianist for the legendary Beaux Arts Trio, told me recently that this fabled career was launched almost by accident when, as a young man, he entered and won the Debussy International Piano Competition in 1946.

“I really didn’t go to win,” he said. “I only went to find out, ‘How good am I?'”

There are hundreds of collegiate writers out there, crafting columns for their college newspapers and online sites, wondering the same thing. We hope to help them get an idea of how they stack up against their peers across the country with the 2016 Jeff Zaslow College Columnist Award.

The National Society of Newspaper Columnists Education Foundation offers an annual $1,000 scholarship, given to the winner of our U.S. college columnist competition. An entry consists of three columns published, in print or electronically, between March 1, 2015, and Feb. 28, 2016.

Image of the 2016 entry form for the NSNC Education Foundation scholarship contest
Click for the PDF of the 2016 entry formto the columnist scholarship contest.

There’s no fee to enter. The deadline is March 30, 2016. The winner also receives a trip to 40th annual conference, which this year will be staged June 23-26 in Los Angeles, at the iconic Hotel Angeleno. We also recognize our second- and third-place winners (and any honorable mentions).

The entry form, which includes the rules, is a PDF for downloading. Learn about the NSNC Education Foundation here. Previous winners are listed on our College Columnists Hall of Fame.

We know that with today’s staggering cost of college, a $1,000 scholarship doesn’t cover as much as it once did, and a trip to Los Angeles doesn’t guarantee a long, happy career and lifelong fame. But we’ve always found our recipients very grateful for the resume builder, the contacts in the industry, and the always inspirational combination of speeches and panels at the conference, along with networking with media professionals, mixed with sightseeing in each year’s host city, some food and fun.

I urge you to pass this information on. Please feel free to share the attached PDF of the conference flyer and distribute it among your area colleges, your alma mater, and anywhere the next Leonard Pitts Jr. might be lurking.

For more information, email me, NSNC Education Chair Mike Leonard — .


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