Jen Bladen

NSPA

National Scholastic Press Association offers a critique service for yearbooks (and also news magazines, literary magazines, feature magazines, and websites, in case you need those too).

To submit your publication for a critique, you must have a Level Two membership. Once your publication is ready to enter, send one copy of your yearbook and a completed entry form. 

If you’ve had a particularly tough year, you are welcome to include a letter describing your special circumstances to make the judge aware of these issues.

If you order a super critique, your judge will write comments on your publication itself as well as comprehensive feedback in the critique scoresheet. Be sure to read the entry requirements very carefully when you submit your yearbook.

The deadline for critique entries is always Dec. 5 for publications from the previous school year. (For example, to have a critique of your 2018–19 yearbook, the book needs to be submitted by Dec. 5, 2019.)

CSPA

To help yearbook staffs improve their final product the Columbia Scholastic Press Association offers Medalist Critiques which contain written standards developed by CSPA to itemize the best practices for student media. The adviser-judge reads the yearbooks and analyzes its strengths and weakness as described by the critique. 

CSPA recruits experienced adviser-judges from across the country who work independently, following common instructions, using the critique form. Upon return from the adviser-judge, each critique is checked by the CSPA staff for completion and accuracy.

The deadline for spring yearbooks is June 10, 2019. Fall delivery books are due Oct. 1, 2019.

JEN BLADEN

To help you improve your yearbook, I am available to critique your yearbook. I offer personalized consultation to assess your starting point, a thorough review of your book and a follow-up conversation regarding your next steps. 

Whether it’s your first critique or you’re looking for a second opinion, I’m happy to take look. I’ll provide you written feedback, markup the copy you send me or we can talk about it over Skype or in person. 

I don’t have a deadline for yearbook critiques; but allow me two weeks upon receipt of your yearbook. 

Take It All In Stride

Regardless of the source of your critique, remember that the feedback is meant to help you grow. Take a few deep breaths, read my blog post on how to share critiques with your staff and enjoy the ride.