SEJ Awards FAQ
Who is eligible to enter?
Can I enter more than once?
How do I submit my entry?
If my entry is disqualified, will I be reimbursed?
What is the deadline to enter?
These are firm deadlines: if you click submit after 4/1/17 11:59 p.m. your local time, or ship after 4/1/17 your entry will not be accepted and your money will not be reimbursed. Be sure to leave yourself enough time! (If your entry is submitted late because of site malfunction, email the awards director, Chris Bruggers, or call her at (502) 641-1844.)
What prizes are offered?
First-place winning entries will receive $500, a trophy, certificate and discounts off that year's annual conference. Second- and third-place winners and honorable mentions will receive a certificate and discount for that year's annual conference.
How much does it cost?
$40 for SEJ members and $100 for all others.
Those who wish to apply for membership with their entry will pay $40 plus the discount fee for first-year membership:
You must join SEJ before entering the contest in order to get the SEJ member rate.
Group entries pay the same fee as individuals, but groups or individuals that enter the contest more than once in the same year must pay a separate fee for each entry. Groups pay the SEJ member rate if at least one of the reporters with a byline on the entry is a member of SEJ.
After submitting your entry form, the payment site will open. Please pay your fee immediately after submitting your entry form. For those needing to pay by check, the payment site includes a check option. Your entry will not be processed for judging until payment is received.
What are the eligible air/publication dates?
Books: January 1 — December 31, 2016
All other entries: published or aired between March 1, 2016, and February 28, 2017. Check your category for the number of stories allowed.
What types of stories and which category should I enter?
Each story entered in the contest must be predominantly about an environmental subject and must have been published or broadcast in a media outlet accessible to the general public.
Kevin Carmody investigative reporting, large- and small-market categories: entries must be stories on a single environmental topic. Maximum five stories per entry. Supplemental materials maybe be included. Judges will want to see evidence of digging to uncover information that would be missed in a lighter treatment of the story.
Beat reporting, large- and small-market categories: entries must be stories and/or commentary that reflect a broad range of environmental topics. Maximum five stories per entry. Supplemental materials may be included. Work must be that of an individual, either alone or with a small supporting team.
Feature story category entries must include one environmental interest story not directly tied to a recent news event with an emphasis on storytelling, while also including an explanatory aspect that sheds light on our environment and gives details to concepts or ideas. Maximum one story per entry plus supplemental materials.
Explanatory story category entries must be a story, series or occasional series that illuminates a significant complex environmental subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, storytelling and clear presentation. Maximum five stories per entry plus supplemental materials.
Rachel Carson Book entries must be non-fiction books about environmental topics. Coffee-table books and memoirs are not eligible. One book per entry, plus supplemental materials.
If you are not sure which category you should enter, email the awards director, Chris Bruggers or call her at (502) 641-1844. The awards committee is the final authority for determining which category an entry belongs in and whether an entered story is eligible. Entry fees will not be returned for entries deemed not eligible.
What about a cover letter?
Cover letters are not mandatory, but can serve to explain aspects of your entry to the judges.
May other people be part of my entry?
In addition to journalists working alone, reporting teams may be part of the same entry if the team worked together on the entered stories. Any reporter listed in a byline must be included. Only individuals or teams of individuals can enter; publications, stations, websites, programs or networks may not enter. If a team wins, the prize will be sent to the individual whose name appears on the entry form for her or him to distribute. Team entries may include photographers, producers, artists, etc. At least one of the reporters with a byline in the entry must be a member of SEJ to qualify for the member rate.
How do I prepare my stories for entry?
See the Preparation Rules page for instructions on acceptable uploads and how to prepare hard-copy entries if you can't supply links or PDFs.
Who will select the winners?
Panels of journalists, journalism educators and other qualified individuals appointed by the awards committee will judge qualified entries and pick place-winners. Judges may select no winners in a category if they decide there are no deserving entries.
When will the winners be announced?
Winners will be announced in July or August. Awards will be presented during SEJ's 27th Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, to be held Oct. 4-8, 2017.
What will happen to the winning entries?
Copies of place-winning stories will be retained as an archive by SEJ and may be reproduced on the SEJ website and in SEJ publications at SEJ’s discretion.
Questions? Email Chris Bruggers, awards director, or call (502) 641-1844.