Every year the National Association of Rocketry awards The North American Rockwell Trophy to the best NAR Section newsletter at NARAM. Winners are chosen from the best newsletters submitted to the judges over the course of the contest year which runs from July 1 to June 30. But you have to enter to be able to win. So be sure to send your submissions to each of the judges listed below.
NOTE: The LAC Newsletter award is open to all NAR Section newsletters that are published as periodicals (not as news posted on Web pages). Newsletters may be submitted to the judges in either printed hardcopy format or in electronic format (such as PDF files).
The Judges for 2017-2018
Thomas Beach (firstname.lastname@example.org)
432 Pruitt Avenue
Los Alamos, NM 87547
Tom Lyon (email@example.com)
4403 Gaines Rd
Richmond, VA 23222
Edward Chess (firstname.lastname@example.org)
5313 Abbey Drive
McHenry, IL 60050
The judging criteria are given below. Editors must keep in mind that these criteria are not a cookbook for turning out a winning Section newsletter. The criteria are flexible and originality is quite important.
Group 1: Most Heavily Weighed
These are the criteria that are most important insofar as they relate to the purpose of the contest more than others.
1. Frequency and Regularity
A newsletter that is issued infrequently or irregularly does not provide current information.
2. Club News
Point totals, contest results, meeting reports, schedules, etc., are included here. These should be current and accurate. If such news is conveyed by other means (such as letters from the president) include these with entries.
3. Other News of Interest to Section Members
Such things as activities of other clubs, product reviews, changes in legislation regarding model rocketry, reports on NASA activities, etc. are included here.
4. Editorials and Other Commentary
Letters to the editor (and the amount of Section involvement and interaction with the newsletter that they indicate) are considered here.
5. Special Features
These are things such as stories (fictitious, humorous, accounts of meets, etc.) cartoons, etc., where there is much room for creativity and originality.
6. Club Contribution to Newsletter
Is the newsletter a club effort, with contributions from many members, or does it look as though it was done entirely by one or two people?
7. Variety of Content
Is the newsletter well-balanced? Does it contain things of interest to all members of the club (scale data, R&D, fun articles, competition hints, etc.)? Each issue need not contain everything.
Is the material contained in the newsletter original and reflective of the Section or is it an imitation of that contained in last year’s winning newsletter?
Group II: Medium Weight
These criteria, although quite important, are not as important as those in Group I.
1. Quality of Technical Material
2. Quality of Scale Plans and Data
3. Quality of Original Designs
In category two and three, the quality of drawings should be considered. They should be clear and neat. All three of these criteria are in Group II because although technical and scale materials are important, a Section newsletter is not a technical journal or scale or design book, and therefore such things should not be rated with Group I criteria in importance. Also, Sections made up largely of junior members may not be able to produce technical material of the same quality as those with leader or senior members who are active in R&D.
Although not everyone has access to printing and/or typesetting equipment, and not every Section may have a talented artist, a pleasant appearance is within the reach of all newsletter editors. Neatness, layout, etc., are considered here.
5. Observance of English Rules
Are good articles written with a concern for good grammar, clarity, and accuracy?
Group III: Carrying the Least Weight
Is an attempt made to circulate the newsletter to as many people outside the Section as possible?
The above criteria are flexible. Editors should try to produce newsletters that serve the needs of their Sections. The judges have the power to give special honorable mentions to newsletters with certain outstanding characteristics. These will be awarded at the discretion of the judges. There are no fixed categories of special honorable mentions.
Congratulations to the NARHAMS Section for winning the 2017 LAC Newsletter Award with their newsletter “ZOG-43,” edited by Don Carson.
To see the list of past winners, see our Winners Page.
If you have any questions, please contact Thomas Beach