Contest FAQ


Q: Who can enter the special projects category?

A: Special Projects is open to non-members and members. Each non-member  on the entry pays $75. (Ex: three non-members enter this category for one piece or a series of articles, the cost is 3x$75 = $225; or, if two non-members and one member enter this category for one piece or a series of articles, the cost is 2x$75 = $150 PLUS $10 for the member’s entry = $160)

Q: Should a member enter the special projects category?

A: Generally, a member’s articles will fit in one of the other categories so should be entered there. The main benefit of doing so is that the first place winners of the five members-only categories are eligible for the Agriculture Journalist of the Year award.

Q: We have a four day series we want to enter. Another writer (nonmember) wrote the first three stories, and I wrote the last story of the series. How would that work to enter the series? Is it only a $75 charge for him to become an NAAJ member, or is it a charge and $10 for the entry.

A: The non-member must be a member to enter a story in the contest. Thus, the non-member would pay $75 for membership. (Non-members may enter stories in the Special Projects category but the fee is $75, so a non-member might as well become a member, if he or she meets eligibility guidelines…but I don’t think you’re asking about the Special Projects category.)

The story entry is $10 (regardless how many actual stories make up the series entry, or whatever). Final answer: It’s a $75 member fee, plus the $10 story fee.

Q: How does it work in the case of a joint-byline story? I.e., if I’m submitting an entry on behalf of myself and another writer, how do I ensure we both are recognized if the story wins?

A: Most multi-bylined entries list the names of all the writers at “name’’ line at the top of the entry sheet and then use that entry sheet just for that entry alone (or multiple entries by that same team). You could use a second entry form for stories that you alone are entering. All entry sheets can be sent in the same envelope with one payment for the combine entries.

Q: I’m just gathering my stuff together for the contest and was looking at the rules. I seem to remember in the past there was no provision about entering one story in more than one category, but I understand this has changed. Could you clarify for me?

A: Yes, NAAJ now prohibits entering a story in more than one category. (So it is no longer possible to enter the same story in the News and Features contests, or any other combination of categories.

Members may, however, lift a single tory from a Series or Special Project, for example, and enter it in News, Spot News or Features.

This is a return NAAJ’s earlier, longstanding policy of requiring entrants to make a decision where a story belongs. It also, obviously, gives more members an opportunity to win an award for their good work. This rule change is noted in the general instructions for our contest on the BetterBNC site.

Q: Can a student member enter the regular categories of the contest?

A: To enter the other categories, they would need to be a full-fledged member with the $75 dues payment. There is nothing that prevents a student from paying the full price. Otherwise, they enter under the student category.

More questions about the contest? Contact Kim de Bourbon,   contest chair.

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2016 Writing Contest Winners

The awards for 2016 articles will be presented April 24, 2017, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. NEWS Judged by Patricia Klintberg,  a former Farm Journal writer and recipient of NAAJ’s Glenn Cunningham Award... More...