September 11, 2019 / National Yearbook Week / News / Staff Fun

Are you ready to Level Up?

Written by Jenica Hallman, CJE

Success takes many shapes and forms. Many of you already have a successful yearbook – it’s a good book that sells. But if you staunchly believe normal is overrated, if your pursuit of excellence is what drives you, if you keep searching for how to infuse the yearbook with your unique school flavor and spice, and deep down you know you are capable of more.

If that’s you, then it’s time to LEVEL UP your yearbook.

What does leveling up your yearbook look like? Well, that’s up to you.

Maybe you want to jazz up your design to create modern showstopper spreads and graphics. Maybe you feel you could tell the story of the year so much better if you had wow photos that captured the spirit and zest of your school. Maybe you dream of sprucing up your captions and writing captivating stories. You might even entertain the notion that your book could be a national award winner.

Whatever you goal, Walsworth can get you there. We’ve created the Level Up contest to help.

Tell me more

What’s the Level Up contest? So glad you asked! You probably haven’t heard because this is the first time we’ve ever done something like this, but it’s a brand new contest with a sweet prize package. We even made a video about it!

Here’s how it goes: You submit a short video telling us how you want to level up your book, why you want to do so and what you are willing to do to level up your book (because it’s possible, but it does take work!).

Two lucky grand prize winners will win a two-year, $3,500 prize package! It includes:

  • Yearbook specialists Mike Taylor, CJE, and/or Jim Jordan visiting your school each year for special consultations
  • Adviser Academy tuition fee paid for adviser (travel expenses not included)
  • Workshop fees paid for adviser and editor(s)-in-chief and/or other editors (travel expenses not included)
  • Elite Weekend tuition paid for adviser (travel expenses not included)
  • JEA/NSPA or CSPA Convention Registration (adviser’s choice) fee paid for adviser (travel expenses not included)
  • One set of adviser and student editions of Yearbook Suite curriculum
  • One Possibilities book

Mike Taylor and Jim Jordan? Yes, you heard that correct! Taylor and Jordan are two of the industry’s leading experts in all things yearbook and are both former award-winning advisers. And they want to impart their wealth of knowledge to you and your staff.

“I think I know something about what it takes to create a great yearbook,” Jordan said. “I’ve been teaching and coaching staffs to do their best work for 38 years now. My own students over those years have produced over 40 CSPA Crowns and NSPA Pacemakers. If you really want it, I can show you how to get there. But when it’s all said and done, it’s about YOU and what you want and are willing to do.”

We’ll document the process and share it on our blog, podcast and magazine so other schools can learn along with you. You could become yearbook-famous! Why are we doing this? Because schools matter, students matter, dreams matter and journalism matters.

“Our staffs work hard to produce great yearbooks, and we know that your success, however you define it, leads to greater school engagement, more people purchasing the yearbook and students who are better prepared for the future with valuable job skills,” Walsworth president Don Walsworth said. “Walsworth wants to invest in that effort by providing the right people and resources to help each yearbook staff reach their unique goals, and our Level Up program is one way we do that.”

We believe in you

Because we believe in our process so much, we are going to put it to the test in real time. But we know that with the dedication our yearbook staffs embody and the resources we provide, there is no limit to what our schools can achieve. It’s why Walsworth had 28 yearbooks that won CSPA Crowns or NSPA Pacemaker awards last year – the cream of the yearbook crop – and you might even be on your way to joining those ranks.

“Creating a yearbook that strives to tell the complete story of a year at a high school is not for the lazy or faint of heart. It takes time and talent and hard work. But because you care so much about this process, I know you want to tell that story in the most dynamic way you possibly can. The Walsworth team is ready and waiting to help you do just that,” Jordan said.

Taylor echoed Jordan’s thoughts, recalling his own experiences as a teacher.

“As teachers, we like to see each year build on the previous one. We like it when our students grasp the concept and apply the knowledge to their lives. Yearbook is the same thing. We go to camp, listen to podcasts, read books and aim to step it up each year. The Level up contest is a way to step it up with the help of Walsworth. And whether you win or not, you still win,” Taylor said.

How do I enter?

Contest entry runs from Sept. 12 – Oct. 6, 2019, and the two winners will be announced on Friday, Oct. 11, to celebrate National Yearbook Week. Create your video today and enter at

As Jordan said, “The bottom line is we are going to have FUN as we go wherever you want to go!”

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Jenica Hallman, CJE

Jenica Hallman, CJE, is a Copywriter for Walsworth Yearbooks. Yearbooks got into her blood in high school, and she has been pursuing them ever since. She has worked in various capacities as a high school and college yearbook editor, an adviser, sales representative, plant customer service representative and now in marketing, her favorite role to date. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mass media communications from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.