From a record 639 writing entries received in the 2010-2011 writing competitions, eight finalists' competition articles qualified them for the Hearst National Writing Championship in San Francisco, where they competed for additional scholarship awards. This special event consisted of an on-the-spot assignment and a press interview. The finalists' articles were judged for accuracy, writing quality, enterprise and innovation.
On Monday, June 6th, shortly after arriving in the city, the finalists met with the judges for orientation and assignments. This year, the on-the-spot assignment was to investigate the state of dress and fashion in San Francisco. The finalists' press interview subject was California Attorney General Kamala Harris. She spent an hour with the finalists in the Civic Center's State Building, sharing an overview of her life and career and answering questions. The final deadline was Wednesday at 6 p.m. by which point the news story from the interview, a personality/profile of Attorney General Harris and the spot news piece were due. After reviewing the articles Thursday morning, the judges made their decisions and the winners were announced at the awards ceremony that evening.
The first through third place winners were awarded scholarships of $5,000, $4,000, and $3,000 respectively and are featured below. The five finalists who earned $1,500 scholarship awards were: Hayley Bruce from University of Iowa, Lauren Gambino from Arizona State University, William Jayson Jenks from University of Kansas, Caitlin Keating from Indiana University and Scott Miller from University of Iowa. Two additional awards of $1,000 each were given to Williams Jayson Jenks for Article of the Year and Hayley Bruce for Best Reporting Technique for their articles submitted in the monthly competitions.