Writing Contest Rules

The North American Agricultural Journalists annual writing contest has six categories for professionals and one student category. Categories are News, Spot News, Features, Columns/Analysis, Series and Special Projects. The contest fee is $10 per entry. A member may enter up to two entries per category. Complete and include the NAAJ WRITING CONTEST ENTRY FORM 2013 . You can pay online with a debit or credit card  or mail your payment as instructed on the entry form and on the payment information page.

First-place winners in the member categories vie for the Glenn Cunningham Ag Journalist of the Year Award. Eligible stories must have been published in calendar year 2012 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31). Entries are judged separately. All entries must be postmarked by Jan. 28, 2013.

Non-members may enter only one category: Special Projects. Non-members must pay $75 to enter this category. The winner of this category is not eligible for the Glenn Cunningham Ag Journalist of the Year Award. Non-members who are eligible may join NAAJ by paying a $75 membership fee, which must be received by Feb. 1. For membership or other information, contact Kathleen Phillips, NAAJ executive secretary-treasurer, (979) 845-2872; ka-phillips@tamu.edu.

Winners will be recognized at NAAJ’s annual meeting banquet April 8, 2013 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Each entry must include the entry form.

For ease of handling and judging, consider sending entries in publication form, copied on a copy machine or retrieved from an electronic archive. Computer printouts are OK. Entries may be printed or pasted on 8.5×11, 8.5×14 or 11×17 paper.

Include sidebars, tables, etc., pertinent to the story. Omit (whiteout or blackout)  name of publication and author in all copy.

Each entry page must have the following in the upper-right corner: Category name, phone number  (without area code; this is how we identify you since the writers’ names are not known to the judges)  and page numbers. For example:

Page 1 of 4

In the upper-right corner of succeeding pages, it should read “Features, 845-2872, Page 2 of 4,” etc.

If an NAAJ member submits an entry co-authored with one or more non-member, each non-member pays the $75 non-member fee. However, if eligible, the writer may consider becoming an NAAJ member for $75/year.

Students must be members by Jan. 28 to participate in the contest. The student membership fee is $15/year. A brief letter or e-mail of recommendation from a faculty member must accompany a new membership application. The limit per student is two entries in the student writing category.

The entry must have been published in a publication that would be eligible to have membership in NAAJ or student publication during 2012.

For membership or other information, contact Kathleen Phillips, NAAJ executive secretary-treasurer, (979) 845-2872;  ka-phillips@tamu.edu.

Mail contest entries to: David Hendee
Omaha World-Herald
Omaha World-Herald Building
1314 Douglas St., Suite 700
Omaha, NE 68102-1811
If you have questions,  check out the Contest FAQ. If you don’t find your answer there, call contest chair David Hendee at (402) 444-1127.

Writing contest categories and descriptions

Writing contest categories are:

News: Informs readers about a timely, important, interesting agricultural issue or event in an objective, thorough manner.

Spot News: Covers breaking news–news that is time-sensitive and written under tight deadline. Entries in this category would include (but not be limited to) stories written for wire services and the Internet. A statement of 100 words or less describing the conditions under which the story was written and/or the time significance of the story MUST accompany entries in the spot news category.

Feature: Takes a broader or more human look at an important or interesting agricultural issue, event or experience. It may be longer and more in-depth than a news story. This category includes human interest and technical articles.

Series: Contains multiple stories focused on an agricultural issue or event. The series objectively explores the subject in great depth from various points of view.

Columns/Analysis: Addresses an issue by clearly explaining it. A column allows the writer to express his/her personal observations, humor or feelings on a topic. An analysis requires the writer to build arguments on fact and logic, state a position, and convince the reader of the need for action.

Special Projects: Takes reporting to a higher level. The overall entry shows careful planning and enterprise. The entry also shows that time, talent, and in some cases, monetary commitments were made to produce the project. May be a team effort.

Student: There are no sub-categories for students. Each student may submit up to two entries, published in 2012 in a student publication or a publication that would have employees eligible for NAAJ membership.

North American Agricultural Journalists - Upcoming Events :
NAAJ 2014 Annual Meeting

2013 writing contest winners

North American Agricultural Journalists - Award Spotlight

2013 Writing Contest Winners

(Awards for the best writing in 2013 will be presented April 7, 2014 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.) NAAJ’s 2014 writing contest for stories published last year attracted 260 entries. That’s roughly 60 more... More...