Another school year means another year of Best of SNO, and if the first month and a half of submissions is any indication, we’re in for another great (and competitive) one.
To date, our reviewers have already read or viewed over 2,500 stories from over 300 participating schools, publishing around 13% of those submissions. Getting recognized in such a crowded field takes a combination of unique topics, thorough reporting and sharp editing.
Whether it’s news, opinion, or even multimedia, we try to showcase a little bit of everything on Best of SNO. So, to kick off this year’s Best of Best of SNO series, we’re providing a sampling of our main publishing categories. Read on to see work that’s stood out to our reviewers so far this year (and, perhaps more importantly, why).
How Will the Dobbs Ruling Affect Ohio Women? by Taia Menefee, Beachwood High School
Following the Supreme Court ruling reversing Roe v. Wade this summer, protests erupted nationwide. We’ve received lots of news coverage on those community protests and reactions, but this one from the Beachwood High School staff was particularly well done. So what sets it apart? A few things, but mainly the multiple perspectives reflected in their interviews, the abundant use of hyperlinks to external sources and the connection to more current happenings in their state. The ability to remain objective on such a contentious issue was equally impressive.
Although schools have largely gone “back to normal,” many are still reeling from the effects of COVID-19. One of those unfortunate effects includes increases in school violence and student behavior issues. This in-depth feature by the West Side Story staff examines this problem, focusing on how it has manifested itself in their own school and community. If you’re looking for a great example of how to approach a broader, nationwide topic with a local lens, look no further. The scope of interviews and appropriate use of the long-form story page template are the cherries on top.
Outdated appeal of grass lawns harms water conservation efforts by Lauren Chen and Tanvi Rao, Dougherty Valley High School
If you’re writing about a popular topic (like climate change), one of the best ways to get your story noticed by our reviewers is with a unique angle. This Dougherty Valley High School opinion article does just that. Focusing on their home state of California, the authors explore the connection between the traditional American “green lawn” and the effects of climate change, ultimately imploring readers to opt for more sustainable substitutes. But the angle wasn’t all our reviewers noticed here. The writers also manage to avoid first person writing and include an interview – a definite win-win when it comes to opinion writing.
Georgia Halverson doesn’t just fiddle around by Ingrid Smith, McCallum High School
We love a book or movie review just as much as the next person, but admittedly they can start to blur together after a while. As such, we’re always on the lookout for unique A&E articles and have published everything from TikTok trends to student authors. This story from The Shield Online staff at McCallum High School is a great example. While it primarily focuses on the musical journey of an award-winning fiddler, it also provides a larger glimpse into the world of fiddling – its origins, its future, and the community that works to keep the fiddling spirit alive.
A level playing field: local organization empowers women in sports leadership by Sophia Bella, Burlingame High School – CA
If we’re being honest, sports may be one of the hardest categories to get published on Best of SNO. Why? Because much of what school publications traditionally cover for sports, namely game coverage, doesn’t necessarily appeal to broader audiences. That’s why we love sports stories like this one from Burlingame High School, which examines a local organization aiming to promote female coaches and female leadership in the sports community. An added bonus? The original artwork in the featured image. While this isn’t a Best of SNO requirement, it can give your story an added “boost” over the rest.
While videos tend to be our most popular multimedia submission type, did you know that we also accept podcasts and photo essays to Best of SNO, too?
The process you’ll use for submitting these types of content is a bit different.
Photo Essays: To submit photo essays, you’ll want to do two things. First, make sure to include your photos in the text of your story – not as a “traditional” gallery. Second, include substantive photo captions (and credits) for each photo.
And, just like the submission process is a little different, so is the assessment process. For multimedia submissions, our reviewers use the multimedia badge requirements, so be sure to review those in the SNO Badges dashboard on your site before submitting.
In the meantime, use the links below to peruse some great multimedia examples on Best of SNO:
We hope this list has inspired you and maybe given you a submission idea or two. But if not, no need to worry. Head on over to Best of SNO to read (or view) some more. Then head to your Best of SNO dashboard and show us what you’ve got.