SEJ 2020 Awards — HOW TO ENTER

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FIRST:

  • NEW: Pay first, then enter. This is opposite of previous years; you'll submit payment, then be taken to a page with links to the category entry forms.
  • NEW: Deadline to enter is April 1, 2020, 11:59 PM EASTERN STANDARD TIME (formerly local time)
  • NEW: If you miss the deadline, you have until April 7, 2020, 11:59 PM EST — but it will cost an extra $100 above the regular fee to enter after April 1.
  • NEW: Journalists residing in low- to mid-income countries as designated by the World Bank can enter for $10US. (Embedded journalists from other countries excluded.)
  • NEW: No more limits on file sizes or URL characters. (You still have to combine some PDFs.)
  • You can enter the contest multiple times. However...
  • A story may only be entered one time — it can't be included in other entries or submitted in other categories.
  • The window for eligible stories: March 1, 2019 - Feb. 29, 2020 — EXCEPT...
  • Books entered in the book contest must be published in 2019.

Materials needed:

  • PDFs or MP3 files or links to each story. Combine PDFs for related stories published on the same day. (Help with combining PDFs
  • Confirmation that your entry ran or aired during the contest period: March 1, 2019 - February 29, 2020. (Series of up to five stories beginning or ending outside those dates are eligible.) Exception: Book category entries must have been published during calendar year 2019.
  • Broadcast transcript if you enter radio or television stories, or if your online entry includes audio/video components.
  • Credit card for online payment.

Cover letters are voluntary but encouraged. Judges greatly appreciate seeing the challenges of the project, aftermath, any other information that can easily be shared in a cover letter. Letters may be from editors, from the reporter entering or from any other individual.

Book entries: Entry forms are mandatory. After completing the payment and entry forms, ship four copies of your book to Chris Bruggers, Director of Awards (address below).

The first-place winner of SEJ's Rachel Carson Environment Book Award must supply three more copies of the book in order to be judged in the Nina Mason Pulliam Award for $10,000.

Electronic books: Include detailed instructions on how to access the book. Please include the formats available to read the book. If a special reader app is needed, supply the name of the app to search for in the entry form's "Reader App" field. If your book cannot be accessed without payment, you must supply the cost of four books so the director can mail reimbursements to judges. Make your check out to Christine Bruggers and send to the Louisville address listed below. DO NOT MAKE YOUR CHECK OUT TO SEJ OR SEND TO THE SEJ OFFICE.  This will delay your entry.

Other Entries:

Print: For PDF uploads, combine PDFs of related stories published on the same day. (Help with combining PDFs.) Check your category for the allowable number of stories and other details. The entry form for categories other than Feature Story allows five PDF uploads.

Online and broadcast : Supply web links to Internet pages where your television, radio or online news story can be accessed or upload MP3 and MP4 files. Check your category for the allowable number of stories and other details.

Print, online and broadcast: If you are unable to supply links, you may ship four copies of your entries to Chris Bruggers at the address listed below. Please include a copy of the online form. Be sure to follow the preparation rules. Note: even if you ship your entries, you must still complete an online form.

Shipping address:

SEJ Awards
C/O Chris Bruggers
186 North Bellaire Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206

Follow the preparation rules for preparing your entries for shipping. Shipped entries that are incorrectly prepared will not be sent to judges. Please pay special attention to the instructions, since your payment is nonrefundable.

 

ENTRY FEES

Payment can be made via credit card as part of your entry.

For book entries only: Publishers needing to pay by check can select the “Pay later” option. You should receive an invoice from sej@memberclicks-mail.net as soon as you submit the form. If you don’t see it, check your spam. Your entry will not be processed for judging until payment is received.

  • $15 US Funds: Student Member Rate
  • $25 US Funds: Student Non-Member Rate
  • $45 US Funds: Member Rate
  • $110 US Funds: Non-Member Rate
  • $10 US Funds: Discounted entry fee for use by journalists residing in low-to-middle-income-economy countries as designated by World Bank rankings.
  • $100 plus applicable fee: Late entry rate

You must be a member of SEJ to enter at the member rate. Qualifying non-members may join SEJ prior to entering. If you are unsure of your membership status, please check your profile, or contact SEJ at sej@sej.org or (202) 558-2055.

To join, complete a membership application. Eligibility criteria apply. You can enter the contest after your membership application and dues payment are submitted. However, if you're found to be ineligible for membership, SEJ will bill you for the additional $65 for the nonmember contest fee and refund your member dues. (Member dues can't be applied to contest fees.)

Please read the membership application thoughtfully to avoid applying if you don't qualify. Note that individuals engaged in any kind of paid public relations work concerning environmental issues are not eligible for membership.

 

TO ENTER

Read the category description and select what best fits your entry. For help with categories, email sej@sej.org or call Chris Bruggers at 502-641-1844. Click on the category title to enter the payment form. After you've finished the payment process, you'll be forwarded to the categories page where you can access the entry forms. Record your invoice number — you need it to complete the entry form!

The categories for the contest are as follows:

Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting, Large Newsroom: An investigative report or series on a single environmental topic, originally published or aired between March 1, 2019, and February 29, 2020. Investigative reporting uses journalistic skills to disclose facts about businesses, government agencies or individuals that, absent the reporting, would not likely be disclosed. Judges will be encouraged to weigh the results of the reporting in their deliberations. Related stories published on the same day count as one story. Audio and video stories must not exceed 60 minutes; print and online series must not exceed five parts. A cover letter is optional, but encouraged, and may be submitted by the reporter entering the contest or any other individual to help judges understand difficulties the reporter faced, impacts of the story, etc. Eligibility: Only stories published or aired by the original media outlet are eligible. Republished or rebroadcast stories are not eligible. Print or online entries: News organizations with more than 75 employees. TV and radio: National networks in the U.S. and elsewhere and top 30 television and radio markets in the U.S. Small-newsroom entities collaborating with large-newsroom entities qualify as large-newsroom. PDF, MP3 and MP4 files or links are accepted.

Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting, Small Newsroom: An investigative report or series on a single environmental topic, originally published or aired between March 1, 2019, and February 29, 2020. Investigative reporting uses journalistic skills to disclose facts about businesses, government agencies or other people that, absent the reporting, would not likely be disclosed. Judges will be encouraged to weigh the results of the reporting in their deliberations. Related stories published on the same day count as one story. Audio and video stories must not exceed 60 minutes; print and online series must not exceed five parts. A cover letter is optional, but encouraged, and may be submitted by the reporter entering the contest or any other individual to help judges understand difficulties the reporter faced, impacts of the story, etc. Eligibility: Only stories published or aired by the original media outlet are eligible. Republished or rebroadcast stories are not eligible. Print or online entries: News organizations with 75 or fewer employees. TV and radio: Below top 30 television and radio markets in the U.S. Small-newsroom entities collaborating with large-newsroom entities qualify as large-newsroom. PDF, MP3 and MP4 files or links are accepted.

Outstanding Beat Reporting, Large Newsroom: Up to five broadcast or published news reports and/or commentary on a broad range of environmental topics or a broad range of various issues within a single environmental topic published or aired between March 1, 2019, and February 29, 2020, may be submitted. Entry must be the work of an individual, either alone or with a small supporting team. Related stories published or aired on the same day count as one story. Audio and video entries must have a combined total running time of no more than 60 minutes. A cover letter is optional, but encouraged, and may be submitted by the reporter entering the contest or any other individual to help judges understand difficulties the reporter faced, impacts of the story, etc. Eligibility: Only stories published or aired by the original media outlet are eligible. Republished or rebroadcast stories are not eligible. Print or online entries: News organizations with more than 75 employees. TV and radio: National networks in the U.S. and elsewhere and top 30 television and radio markets in the U.S. Small-newsroom entities collaborating with large-newsroom entities qualify as large-newsroom. PDF, MP3 and MP4 files or links are accepted.

Outstanding Beat Reporting, Small Newsroom: Up to five broadcast or published news reports and/or commentary on a broad range of environmental topics or a broad range of various issues within a single environmental topic published or aired between March 1, 2019, and February 29, 2020, may be submitted. Entry must be the work of an individual, either alone or with a small supporting team. Related stories published or aired on the same day count as one story. Audio and video entries must have a combined total running time of no more than 60 minutes. A cover letter is optional, but encouraged, and may be submitted by the reporter entering the contest or any other individual to help judges understand difficulties the reporter faced, impacts of the story, etc. Eligibility: Only stories published or aired by the original media outlet are eligible. Republished or rebroadcast stories are not eligible. Print or online entries: News organizations with 75 or fewer employees. TV and radio: Below top 30 television and radio markets in the U.S. Small-newsroom entities collaborating with large-newsroom entities qualify as large-newsroom. PDF, MP3 and MP4 files or links are accepted.

Outstanding Feature Story, Large Newsroom: Entry must be a single environmental interest story not directly tied to a recent news event, with an emphasis on storytelling. Entries must be published between March 1, 2019, and February 29, 2020. Multi-part stories are prohibited. A cover letter is optional, but encouraged, and may be submitted by the reporter entering the contest or any other individual to help judges understand difficulties the reporter faced, impacts of the story, etc. Eligibility: Only stories published or aired by the original media outlet are eligible. Republished or rebroadcast stories are not eligible. Print or online entries: News organizations with more than 75 employees. TV and radio: National networks in the U.S. and elsewhere and top 30 television and radio markets in the U.S. Small-newsroom entities collaborating with large-newsroom entities qualify as large-newsroom. PDF, MP3 and MP4 files or links are accepted.

Outstanding Feature Story, Small Newsroom: Entry must be a single environmental interest story not directly tied to a recent news event, with an emphasis on storytelling. Entries must be published between March 1, 2019, and February 29, 2020. Multi-part stories are prohibited. A cover letter is optional, but encouraged, and may be submitted by the reporter entering the contest or any other individual to help judges understand difficulties the reporter faced, impacts of the story, etc. Eligibility: Only stories published or aired by the original media outlet are eligible. Republished or rebroadcast stories are not eligible. Print or online entries: News organizations with 75 or fewer employees. TV and radio: Below top 30 television and radio markets in the U.S. Small-newsroom entities collaborating with large-newsroom entities qualify as large-newsroom. PDF, MP3 and MP4 files or links are accepted.

Outstanding Explanatory Reporting, Large Newsroom: A story, series or occasional series that illuminates a significant, complex environmental subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, storytelling and clear presentation, published or aired by a single news organization. Entries must be published between March 1, 2019, and February 29, 2020. Related stories published or aired on the same day count as one story. Audio and video stories must not exceed 60 minutes; print and online series must not exceed five parts. A cover letter is optional, but encouraged, and may be submitted by the reporter entering the contest or any other individual to help judges understand difficulties the reporter faced, impacts of the story, etc. Eligibility: Only stories published or aired by the original media outlet are eligible. Republished or rebroadcast stories are not eligible. Print or online entries: News organizations with more than 75 employees. TV and radio: National networks in the U.S. and elsewhere and top 30 television and radio markets in the U.S. Small-newsroom entities collaborating with large-newsroom entities qualify as large-newsroom. PDF, MP3 and MP4 files or links are accepted.

Outstanding Explanatory Reporting, Small Newsroom: A story, series or occasional series that illuminates a significant, complex environmental subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, storytelling and clear presentation, published or aired by a single news organization. Entries must be published between March 1, 2019, and February 29, 2020. Related stories published or aired on the same day count as one story. Audio and video stories must not exceed 60 minutes; print and online series must not exceed five parts. A cover letter is optional, but encouraged, and may be submitted by the reporter entering the contest or any other individual to help judges understand difficulties the reporter faced, impacts of the story, etc. Eligibility: Only stories published or aired by the original media outlet are eligible. Republished or rebroadcast stories are not eligible. Print or online entries: News organizations with 75 or fewer employees. TV and radio: Below top 30 television and radio markets in the U.S. Small-newsroom entities collaborating with large-newsroom entities qualify as large-newsroom. PDF, MP3 and MP4 files or links are accepted.

Rachel Carson Environment Book Award: A nonfiction book that covers an environmental topic and was published in print or electronically in 2019. Republished books are not eligible, even if substantially altered. Memoirs and picture books are not eligible. However, photojournalism books that tell an environmental story through images and text are eligible.

Ray Reece "Excellence in Environmental Journalism" Student Award: A story or series on an environmental topic by a student or group of students enrolled in a university, college or high school at the time the content was produced. Entry stories must have been published, aired or otherwise produced in a media outlet accessible to the general public between March 1, 2019, and February 29, 2020. Related stories published or aired on the same day count as one story. Audio and video stories must not exceed 60 minutes; print and online series must not exceed five parts. A cover letter is encouraged but optional, and can help judges understand difficulties the reporter faced, impacts of the story, etc. Eligibility: All radio, TV, print and online content published or aired by the original media outlet are eligible, including campus media and journalism produced during undergraduate internships and student-held part-time jobs. Class assignments not published, posted or broadcast to the public are not eligible. Also excluded are stories with bylines shared with non-students and work from post-graduate internships. Mid-career journalists who have worked five or more years as full-time professional journalists before returning to school are not eligible. Republished or rebroadcast stories are not eligible. Links are preferred, but PDF, MP3 and MP4 files are also accepted.

 

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