NOTE: Visit the main
contest page for the complete contest
rules or to obtain a contest entry
How do I know
You don't have to be an SEJ member or an environment specialist to enter. Reporters who cover health, politics, science,
energy, local government or any other beat are encouraged to enter their work on environmental subjects. Students may
enter work that was published or broadcast in a media outlet accessible to the general public. SEJ welcomes entries from
outside the U.S., but non-English entries must be accompanied by a complete English translation. Judges
for this contest may enter except in a category to which her or his panel is assigned. Members of SEJ's Board of
Directors and Awards Committee and SEJ staff may not enter. Exceptions will be made for group entries including an SEJ
board member if that member did not play a significant role.
What should I
No matter which category you're entering, you need to send five copies of your work. Each copy of the entry must have a copy of the entry form (front and back of the first copy, front only of the other four) on top or affixed to the outside of a folder, followed by the supporting letter, a list of story titles, then the story or stories being entered. If more than one reporter is on the entry, include one sheet listing the reporting team names, phone numbers, complete mailing addresses and email addresses. Fees must be included. Please do not send supplemental materials, as these will be removed and discarded. All entries become the property of SEJ.
- Print category stories must be submitted in one of four ways: 1) clearly legible photocopies on paper measuring no smaller than 8.5 inches
by 11 inches and no larger than 11 inches by 17 inches, 2) clips mounted on paper, cardboard or similar material (clips mounted on cardboard or other stiff paper may not be larger
than 11 inches by 17 inches to allow for filing in the SEJ office), 3) reprints, or 4) printouts of PDF versions of print stories. In each case, the
submitted material must show the same stories, headlines, photos and graphics that appeared originally in print, without any additions or
deletions, and must be accompanied by at least one actual tearsheet or clipping. Tearsheets only are not accepted. News services may submit
computer printouts. SEJ also requests entrants in print categories to include, if possible, an electronic copy on CD for archiving.
- Television stories must be on VHS cassettes or DVD (digital video disc). It is the entrant's responsibility to make sure entered DVDs are
playable in multiple formats and readable on both PC and Mac.
- Radio stories must be on audio compact discs. It is the entrant's responsibility to ensure each copy is readable on both PC and Mac.
- Online entries must be submitted in one of three ways: 1) web addresses that are current and publicly accessible, 2) compact discs
showing exactly how the material appeared online or 3) legible printouts of exactly how the material appears (or appeared) online. In each
case, the submitted material may not reflect any changes made after the last day of February of the current contest year. Entries must also be
accompanied by complete instructions indicating which stories and web pages are to be judged. It is the entrant's responsibility to ensure
each copy is readable on both PC and Mac.
- Book entries must be submitted as published. Computer printouts or proofing copies will not be accepted.
How much does it cost?
Book entries are $50 for members, $80 for non-members who include a membership application with the entry, $125 for non-members.
Student entries are $15 for members, $25 for non-members who include a membership application with the entry, $50 for non-members.
All others are $30 for members, $50 for non-members who include a membership application with the entry, $80 for non-members.
Please note: Payment must accompany your entry.
Where should I
send my entry, and when is the
Your completed packet must be
postmarked by April 1, 2009, and
sent to SEJ Awards, P.O. Box 2492,
Jenkintown, PA, 19046. Shipping address:
321 Old York Rd., Suite 200, Jenkintown,
What are the eligible air/publication dates?
Books: January 1 - December 31, 2008
All other entries must have been published between March 1, 2008, and February 28, 2009. A series that begins or ends outside the contest
dates may include those stories published outside
the contest dates. Check your category for the number of stories
What types of
stories may 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. Stories may be about unrelated environmental topics unless entered in the explanatory,
investigative, or outstanding broadcast story categories, which must be about a single subject. The awards committee is the final authority for
determining whether an entered story is eligible. Entry fees will not be returned for entries deemed not eligible.
stories may I enter?
There are different limits for
the various categories, so consult the rules carefully. Also refer to the application
Related stories published or broadcast on
the same day count as one story, as do
daily installments of a series.
What should I
include in my brief cover
You should describe your
story or stories, including the resources that
went into reporting them, their impact,
and the deadlines and other obstacles you
faced. The letter may be from you or a
supervisor but it may not exceed one side
of an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper,
using 10-point type or larger.
people be part of my
In addition to journalists
working alone, groups may be part of the
same entry if the group worked together
on the entered stories. Only individuals
may enter — not publications,
stations, programs or networks. If a
group wins, the prize will be divided
according to instructions given by the
group on the entry form. Group entries
may include photographers, producers,
artists, etc. Only one of the reporting team must be a member of SEJ to qualify for the member rate.
should I enter?
Choose carefully because you
may select only one category per
entry. The beat category is to recognize a body of
work, which could include deadline or feature reporting. The explanatory or investigative reporting categories are for
more involved pieces or series. The online category is reserved for journalism produced specifically for Internet viewing,
or republished using tools unique to the Internet, such as hyperlinks, streaming audio, or interactive features. It is not for
no-frills reproductions of print, television or radio stories. If you're
still uncertain about which category best
fits your entry, please contact the SEJ
office at (215) 884-8174.
May I enter
the small-market print
You are eligible to enter the small-market category for print if your stories first appeared in a
publication with a circulation of less than 100,000 copies.
May I enter
more than once?
Yes, but only if you enter different stories each time and mail each entry separately with a separate entry fee. No story
may be included in more than one entry, i.e., the same package of stories cannot be entered in more than one category and
each story in a package may be part of only one entry.
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. The
awards committee, whose members are
appointed by the SEJ board, is the final
authority for interpreting contest rules
and may disqualify entries that do not
comply with those rules.
When will the
winners be announced?
Winners will be announced in early July. Awards will be presented at SEJ's 19th annual conference
in Madison, Wisconsin, October 7-11, 2009.
happen to the winning
Copies of place-winning stories will be retained as an archive by SEJ and may be reproduced on the SEJ Web site and in SEJ publications
at SEJ's discretion.
Still have questions?
Contact SEJ by email or call