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The MDDC Contest recognizes excellence in news media organizations of Maryland, Delaware and DC. Contest categories focus on editorial, design and revenue, plus special awards for standout personnel, Freedom of Information coverage, Courage in Journalism, Best Moves, and News Organization of the Year.

Download the full contest packet, which includes a listing of all categories in the contest.  Ready to enter?  Go straight to the contest portal.   By entering the contest, each news organization or individual certifies the originality of all submitted entries.

Deadline for Entries

Contest is open now through January 31, 2021.  All entries must be uploaded to the contest portal.

BNC Website Password

Contest manager profiles, including passwords, have been carried over from last year’s contest. New to the contest or need help?  Contact Rebecca Snyder for help.

Eligibility & Contest Rules

The contest is open to staff members and freelancers of active members. Freelancers must enter through or with the permission of the publications they write for. Members of MD, DE & DC chapters of SPJ may enter editorial categories only.  Click for full Contest Rules.


The entries will be judged by newspaper professionals from the Virginia Press Association. We will be judging their contest in 2021.


The 2020 MDDC Contest awards will be presented at the MDDC Annual Conference and Celebration on Friday, May 7, 2021. Certificates in each division will be presented to first and second place winners. One Best of Show award is presented in each category. The News Organization of the Year award is presented to the news organization in each circulation division that accumulates the most points in the contest across all categories. First place earns three points and second place earns two points. In a tie, the number of first place wins will be the determining factor.

Help support this event through your sponsorship, or by placing an ad in the Awards publication.  Contact Rebecca Snyder for details.


The fee is $15 per entry.  Entry fees may be made online in the contest portal, by credit card, or by check, payable to MDDC Press Association and mailed to P.O. Box 26214, Baltimore, MD 21210.

Contest Divisions

Circulation divisions for the contest are based on each news organization's print circulation, as reported to MDDC for dues. (These are called categories within the BNC website platform.) The Wild Card category for 2020, which changes each year, is Coronavirus in Community Frontlines.  Click for the full category listing and descriptions.

Design & Revenue divisions:
Division A: Daily print
Division B: Non-daily print
Division C: Online-only

Editorial divisions:
Division A: Dailies over 75,000 circulation
Division B: Dailies from 20,000 to 75,000
Division C: Dailies under 20,000
Division D: Non-dailies over 20,000
Division E: Non-dailies from 10,000 to 20,000
Division F: Non-dailies under 10,000
Division O:  Online only publications
Division S: SPJ-MD, SPJ-DE or SPJ-DC members only (eligible for Editorial categories only)

Previous Winners

Click through to read about our top winners and browse award-winning work by category: 2019 Contest2018 Contest, 2017 Contest, 2016 Contest, 2015 Contest, 2014 Contest

Editorial Rookie of the Year

Michael S. Powell High School Journalist of the Year

Designer of the Year - 20192018, 2017

Salesperson of the Year - 2019, 2018

James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award

Courage in Journalism Award - 20192018

Distinguished Service Award

MDDC Hall of Fame

Website of General Excellence - 2019

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