The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

Best of SNO

The Best of SNO Submission process is highly competitive and selective.

Before you submit, set your frame of reference.  This isn’t a contest with winners or losers. Rather, it’s like submitting to a magazine.  Our reviewers are selecting stories that they think will resonate with our audience –– we consider our audience to be high school and college journalism programs.  Because of the high volume of submissions, the vast majority of submitted stories are not accepted.

Stories are judged holistically, and our reviewers expect submissions to be polished, to have a strong voice, and to be free of grammatical and spelling errors. Our reviewers expect stories to follow sound journalistic practices, and expect the writing to be engaging, concise, and relevant. A story that is strong overall but that also has one flaw (a weak paragraph, a grammatical error, etc…) will cause our reviewers not to accept the story.  Please make sure your work is ready for review when you submit it, as it is not possible to resubmit a story once it has been rejected.


The following will result in a story being immediately disqualified from consideration for publication:

  • Plagiarism
  • Libel
  • Fabrication of quotes or details
  • Illegal and/or undocumented use of copyrighted photos, music, or videos
  • Presenting interviews done by other journalism sources as quotations in your story. We expect student writers to conduct their own interviews


Story Appeal

Our reviewers want entertaining stories, intelligent stories, and stories with heart.  Most importantly, stories should stand out from the crowd. We get a ton of submissions about the same old stuff. What are you writing that’s new, exciting, weird, or maybe even a little crazy? There is no right or wrong topic for a story, but keep in mind that as part of our review process, we ask the following questions:

  • Is this story engaging?
  • Will this story appeal to other journalism programs around the country?
  • Would other journalism programs want to share this story with their students as an example of excellent journalism?
  • Is the lead engaging and does it draw the reader into the story?



We expect stories other than reviews and opinion pieces to be based on multiple, substantial in-depth interviews.  We look for stories that dig beneath the surface rather than just those that collect a few quotes and string them together.

While we will not rule a story out for using first person, we will expect that any first person used in the story be integral to the story itself, rather than simply an easy way for a writer to frame a story.


Multimedia Stories and Podcasts

Our reviewers consider these stories in accordance with our SNO Distinguished Site Multimedia Badge requirements, which are listed in the Badges dashboard tab on your website. Please consult these as they should clarify what we are looking for in terms of content, interviews and time limitations.

Tips and Tricks

  • The story should follow AP style.
  • All facts and quotes should be attributed to a source.
  • Your headline should be engaging — will it convince a reader to take time for this article?
  • Journalistic writing is different than essay writing — you shouldn’t have large paragraphs of text.
  • Your story should include a strong photo that contains action, and that photo should be captioned.  The caption should be written as a complete sentence (or two) and should not state the obvious about the photo.