By Gary Potosky, APSE First Vice President

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, APSE has canceled the in-person winter conference scheduled for February in Orlando.

Rather than host this year’s conference, the DoubleTree Suites will host the previously unscheduled 2024 Winter Conference, in addition to previously scheduled 2022 and 2023 conferences.

APSE will hold a one-day Zoom winter conference, as was the case in the summer when the Indianapolis summer conference was canceled. On that day, members will be updated on the essential work being done since we last met virtually, including committee reports, financial numbers, future plans, diversity initiatives and other matters of importance to members. The date for that conference will be announced in the coming weeks. 

So what does all that mean for the APSE writing, digital and section contests?

Because so much of the writing contest has already been judged off-site in recent years, increasing year by year, expect that contest to remain largely the same. More off-site judges will be needed than in previous years, so APSE officers will be recruiting judges in the weeks ahead.

If you’ve only judged on-site in previous years, reach out to an APSE officer for a good explainer on how it works. 

The digital contest, with many fundamental changes from previous years, will follow a judging timeline very similar to the writing contest. 

The section contest is another matter, with many unanswered questions. Here are just a few:

  • How can judging groups share newspaper sections while judging remotely? 
  • Will we need PDF and JPEG pages to be printed out and mailed via USPS to judges? Or will we be able to judge PDFs and JPEGs online?
  • Will E Editions be allowed? And if so, how will that work? 
  • What happens if PDF or JPEG page entries are illegible on a computer screen? Can they be re-submitted?
  • Do we need to change the judging time windows for sections given the complexities this year? 

APSE will be holding a Zoom meeting for all members in early December to talk through contest issues.

Contest rule changes, thanks to the contest committee’s hard work during the spring, are being updated on the site over the next few weeks and will be published before the Zoom meeting. So look for that update.

If you have questions about the contest anytime, contact contest coordinator Gary Potosky at, or APSE president Lisa Wilson at