Rules/EligibilityCategories
2020 HonoreesPrevious Honorees
Rules/EligibilityCategories 2020 HonoreesPrevious Honorees

Categories

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Print/Online/Wire
Art/Graphics/Multimedia
Audio
Television
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Print/Online/Wire

Deadline Reporting

  — Single-issue circulation 100k+ or online only
  — Single-issue circulation up to 100k

This award recognizes a reporter or team for deadline reporting of a single event. Entries must have been published in the issue that directly follows the event. Entry must be about a single breaking news event.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the page on which the story appeared in print. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.

Use non-Sunday circulation number unless it’s a Sunday-only publication.


Non-Deadline Reporting

  — Single-issue circulation 100k+ or online only
  — Single-issue circulation up to 100k

This award recognizes a reporter or team for non-deadline reporting of a single event or issue. Entry may be a single article or a series of no more than five articles.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the page on which the story appeared in print. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.

Use non-Sunday circulation number unless it’s a Sunday-only publication.


Investigative Reporting

  — Single-issue circulation 100k+ or online only
  — Single-issue circulation up to 100k

This award recognizes a reporter or team for investigative reporting of a single event or issue. Entry may be a single article or a series of no more than five articles.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the page on which the story appeared in print. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.

Use non-Sunday circulation number unless it’s a Sunday-only publication.


Feature Reporting

  — Single-issue circulation 100k+ or online only
  — Single-issue circulation up to 100k

This award recognizes a reporter or team for feature writing. Entry may be personality profiles, trend stories, human interest stories or any feature that is not a breaking news story. Entries may be a single article or series of no more than five.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the page on which the story appeared in print. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.

Use non-Sunday circulation number unless it’s a Sunday-only publication.


Editorial Writing

  — Single-issue circulation 100k+ or online only/non-daily publication
  — Single-issue circulation up to 100k

This award recognizes an editorial writer or team of writers. Entry may be one editorial or a series of no more than five on a single subject. Judges will consider whether the conclusion is logical, fair and of general importance to the community.

Entrants should submit links to the editorials online or PDFs of the page on which the editorials appeared in print. The dates of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the editorials will not be accepted.

Use non-Sunday circulation number unless it’s a Sunday-only publication.


Washington Correspondence

This award recognizes a correspondent on assignment in Washington, D.C. Entry must consist of a minimum of three different stories demonstrating insightful coverage of significant events or issues. Five-story limit. All platforms, including broadcast, are eligible.

For print/online entries, entrants should submit a link to the online articles or a PDF of the page on which the story appeared in print. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted. For video broadcast, entrants should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred) or upload a file to the awards site. All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4. All audio-only files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format.


Foreign Correspondence

This award recognizes a correspondent on assignment outside the U.S. Entry must consist of a minimum of three different stories demonstrating insightful coverage of significant events or issues. Five-story limit. All platforms, including broadcast, are eligible.

For print/online entries, entrants should submit a link to the online articles or a PDF of the page on which the story appeared in print. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted. For video broadcast, entrants should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred) or upload a file to the awards site. All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4. All audio-only files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format.


General Column Writing

  — Single-issue circulation 100k+ or online only/non-daily publication
  — Single-issue circulation up to 100k

Entry must consist of five different print and/or online columns.

Entrants should submit links to the columns online or PDFs of the page on which the columns appeared in print. The dates of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the columns will not be accepted.

Use non-Sunday circulation number unless it’s a Sunday-only publication.


Sports Column Writing

  — Single-issue circulation 100k+ or online only/non-daily publication
  — Single-issue circulation up to 100k

Entry must consist of five different print and/or online columns.

Entrants should submit links to the columns online or PDFs of the page on which the columns appeared in print. The dates of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the columns will not be accepted.

Use non-Sunday circulation number unless it’s a Sunday-only publication.


Public Service Journalism

This award recognizes a newspaper that renders public service through extensive coverage of an issue facing the community it serves. Entry may include a maximum of five articles.

Entrants should submit a link to the online articles or a PDF of the pages on which the story appeared in print. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.


Public Service in Newsletter Journalism

This award recognizes a newsletter that renders outstanding public services through extensive coverage of an issue facing the community it serves. Entry may be a single article or a series of no more than five articles. Editorials and commentaries may be added and will count toward the maximum of five pieces. (Entries are limited to independent newsletters that have been issued regularly for more than one year and are supported by advertising, paid subscriptions or non-profit institutions.)

Entrant should submit a PDF of the newsletter, or a link to the site where the newsletter is published online.


Magazine Writing

  — Regional/local circulation
  — National circulation

This award recognizes the work of a magazine writer or team. Entry may be a single article or a series of no more than five articles on the same subject.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the magazine page on which the story appeared in print. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the article will not be accepted.


Magazine Investigative Reporting

  — Regional/local circulation
  — National circulation

This award is given to a magazine reporter or reporting team for investigative reporting. Entry may be a single article or a series of no more than five articles, including sidebars.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the magazine page on which the story appeared in print. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the article will not be accepted.


Spanish-language Print/Online News Reporting

This award recognizes a reporter or team for non-deadline reporting of a single event or issue. Entry may be a single article or a series of no more than five articles originally written and presented in Spanish.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the page on which the story appeared in print. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.


Spanish-language Print/Online Feature Reporting

This award recognizes a reporter or team for feature writing. Entries may be personality profiles, trend stories, human interest stories or any feature that is not a breaking news story. Entries may be a single article or series of no more than five originally written and presented in Spanish.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the page on which the story appeared in print. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.


Spanish-language Print/Online Investigative Reporting

This award recognizes a reporter or team for investigative reporting of a single event or issue. Entry may be a single article or a series of no more than five articles originally written and presented in Spanish.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the page on which the story appeared in print. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.


Spanish-language Print/Online Column Writing

Entries must consist of five different columns originally written and presented in Spanish.

Entrants should submit links to the columns online or PDFs of the page on which the columns appeared in print. The dates of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the columns will not be accepted.

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Art/Graphics/Multimedia

Breaking News Photography

  — Newspaper/Magazine Circulation up to 100k/Regional Magazine/ Non-Daily Publication/Online Independent
  — Newspaper/Magazine Circulation of 100k+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine

This award recognizes a photographer or team, either staff or freelance. Entry should be a single, compelling image of a breaking news event.

For photographs published in a newspaper or magazine or on an online news site.

Entrant should submit a PDF of the newspaper/magazine page on which the photo appeared in print, or a link to the photo published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible.

Use non-Sunday circulation number unless it’s a Sunday-only publication.


Feature Photography

  — Newspaper/Magazine Circulation up to 100k/Regional Magazine/ Non-Daily Publication/Online Independent
  — Newspaper/Magazine Circulation of 100k+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine

This award recognizes a photographer or team, either staff or freelance, for work featuring personality profiles, trends, human interest or any other feature that is not a breaking news story. Entry may be a single photo or a series of no more than three photos on a single subject.

Entrant should submit a PDF of the newspaper/magazine page on which the photo appeared in print, or a link to the photo published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible.

Use non-Sunday circulation number unless it’s a Sunday-only publication.


Sports Photography

  — Newspaper/Magazine Circulation up to 100k/Regional Magazine/ Non-Daily Publication/Online Independent
  — Newspaper/Magazine Circulation of 100k+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine

This award recognizes a photographer or team, either staff or freelance, for work featuring a sports event or sports figure. Entry should be a single photo. The photograph will be judged on technical excellence, newsworthiness and evidence that the photographer(s) exercised unusual diligence and ingenuity.

Entrant should submit a PDF of the newspaper/magazine page on which the photo appeared in print, or a link to the photo published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible.

Use non-Sunday circulation number unless it’s a Sunday-only publication.


Editorial Cartooning

  — Newspaper/Magazine Circulation up to 100k/Regional Magazine/ Non-Daily Publication/Online Independent
  — Newspaper/Magazine Circulation of 100k+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine

This award recognizes an editorial cartoon published in a newspaper, magazine, newsletter or online news site. They will be judged on craftsmanship, interest, forcefulness, general worth and originality.

Entrants should submit PDFs of five different cartoons on marked newspaper/magazine pages, or links to the cartoons published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible.

Use non-Sunday circulation number unless it’s a Sunday-only publication.


Informational Graphics

This award recognizes newspaper, magazine, newsletter or online news site graphic artist or team for storytelling graphics that bring important information to readers about an event, process or set of statistics. Clarity, originality, impact and quality of execution will distinguish the work. Entry may be a single graphic or a related series of graphics on a single subject.

Entrant should submit a PDF of the marked newspaper/magazine page on which the graphic appeared in print, or a link to the graphic published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible.


Data Visualization

This award recognizes a graphic artist or team for outstanding visual representation of data. Entries will be judged on their newsworthiness, technical merit, originality, overall design and ability to communicate insightful information.

The entry may be dynamic (i.e., interactive) or static (i.e. intended for print). Static entries must be submitted in any of these formats: .jpg, .png, .gif, .svg , or .tiff. If the entry is dynamic (interactive) the entrant should provide a screenshot and hyperlink to the visualization. Max file size is 50 MB. Please be sure to include date of publication.


Specialized Journalism Site

This award recognizes a journalism website that focuses on a single topic. Judges will consider content, ingenuity, interactivity and use of multimedia tools.

Each entry should consist of one URL. If affiliated, site should have an independent domain name. Entries that do not provide a complete and accurate URL will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2022.

Judging will take place February-April 2022. This category will be judged on content as presented during this time span.


Digital Video

This award recognizes a breaking news, feature or investigative report created for original online presentation. Entries must be no more than 15 minutes long and may be edited for length.

Entrant should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred) or upload a video file to the awards site [50 MB file limit]. All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.


Immersion Journalism

This award recognizes immersive journalism, including 360 video, augmented reality or virtual reality. Judges will consider content, ingenuity and how the medium fits the story.

Entries should consist of one main URL or respective app. Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2022.

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Audio

Radio Breaking News Reporting

  — Large Market (1-100 or Network Syndication)
  — Small Market (101+)

This award recognizes resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days. Entries may include reports broadcast within 24 hours of the event. Maximum running time: 15 minutes. All audio files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format. Audio in other formats will not be accepted.


Radio Investigative Reporting

  — Large Market (1-100 or Network Syndication)
  — Small Market (101+)

This award recognizes a reporter or team for investigative reporting of a single event or issue. Entries may be a single broadcast or a series of no more than five parts. Maximum running time: 15 minutes. This category is for short reports; documentaries have a separate category. All audio files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format. Audio in other formats will not be accepted.


Radio Feature Reporting

  — Large Market (1-100 or Network Syndication)
  — Small Market (101+)

This award recognizes a reporter or team for features. Entry may be personality profiles, trend stories, human-interest stories or any feature that is not breaking news. Entries may be a single broadcast or series of no more than three parts. Maximum running time: 10 minutes. All audio files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format. Audio in other formats will not be accepted.


Radio Documentaries

  — Large Market (1-100 or Network Syndication)
  — Small Market (101+)

This award recognizes reporters and production teams that dramatically show or analyze a news event, issue or feature in a single broadcast. The broadcast may be part of a documentary series but must stand alone in telling its story. Maximum running time: 60 minutes. Documentary series themselves may be considered in the Public Service category, if applicable. All audio files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format. Audio in other formats will not be accepted.


Public Service in Radio Journalism

  — Large Market (1-100 or Network Syndication)
  — Small Market (101+)

This award recognizes a radio news organization (station, network or group) that renders public service through extensive coverage of an issue facing the community it serves. Reporting may be conducted by one reporter or a team. Entry may be a single broadcast or a series of no more than five parts. Entry may be a single broadcast or a series of no more than 30 minutes. All audio files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format. Audio in other formats will not be accepted.


John C. Ensslin Awards for Podcast Excellence: Conversational Podcast

The conversational category is for podcasts that consist primarily of monologues, interviews or panel discussions. These usually are recorded in studio and make minimal use of field material.

Entries must be no more than 30 minutes long and may be edited for length. Entrants may submit up to two files, not to exceed 15 minutes each.

Entrant should upload the work to an online audio or video site and submit the URL (preferred) or upload the file(s) to the awards site [50 MB file limit]. Files must be in one of the following formats: .mp3, .wav, .aiff, .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.

Named in honor of SPJ’s 2011-12 president, who died Aug. 5, 2019. After decades as a newspaper reporter, he became a successful podcaster, embracing the new platform.


John C. Ensslin Awards for Podcast Excellence: Narrative Podcast

The narrative category is for podcasts that make use of audio material beyond studio-recorded monologues, interviews, and panels.

Entries must be no more than 30 minutes long and may be edited for length. Entrants may submit up to two files, not to exceed 15 minutes each.

Entrant should upload the work to an online audio or video site and submit the URL (preferred) or upload the file(s) to the awards site [50 MB file limit]. Files must be in one of the following formats: .mp3, .wav, .aiff, .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.

Entries must be no more than 30 minutes long and may be edited for length. Entrants may submit up to two files, not to exceed 15 minutes each.

Entrant should upload the work to an online audio or video site and submit the URL (preferred) or upload the file(s) to the awards site [50 MB file limit]. Files must be in one of the following formats: .mp3, .wav, .aiff, .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.

Named in honor of SPJ’s 2011-12 president, who died Aug. 5, 2019. After decades as a newspaper reporter, he became a successful podcaster, embracing the new platform.

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Television

Television Breaking News Coverage

  — Network/Syndication Service/Program Service
  — Large-Market Station: 1-50 market
  — Small-Market Station: 50+ market

Each award recognizes resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days. Entries may include reports broadcast within 24 hours of the event. Maximum running time: 15 minutes.

Entrant should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred), or upload a video file to the awards site. [50 MB file limit] All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.


Spanish-language Television News Reporting

This award recognizes a reporter or team for television reporting of a single event or issue. Entry may be a single report or series of no more than five connected reports on the same topic originally broadcast in Spanish.

Maximum running time: 15 minutes.

Entrant should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred), or upload a video file to the awards site. [50 MB file limit] All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.


Television Investigative Reporting

  — Network/Syndication Service/Program Service
  — Large-Market Station: 1-50 market
  — Small-Market Station: 50+ market

Each award recognizes a reporter or team for investigative reporting of a single event or issue. Entry may be a single broadcast or a series of no more than five connected parts. Maximum running time: 15 minutes. This category is for short reports; documentaries have a separate category.

Entrant should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred), or upload a video file to the awards site. [50 MB file limit] All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.


Spanish-language Television Investigative Reporting

This award recognizes a reporter or team for television investigative reporting of a single event or issue. Entry may be a single piece or a series of no more than five connected pieces originally presented in Spanish.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the newspaper page on which the story appeared in print. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.


Television Feature Reporting

  — Network/Syndication Service/Program Service
  — Large-Market Station: 1-50 market
  — Small-Market Station: 50+ market

Each award recognizes a reporter or team for features. Entry may be personality profiles, trend stories, human-interest stories or any feature that is not breaking news. Entry may be a single broadcast or series of no more than three parts. Maximum running time: 10 minutes.

Entrant should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred), or upload a video file to the awards site. [50 MB file limit] All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.


Spanish-language Television Feature Reporting

This award recognizes a reporter or team for a broadcast feature. Entries may be personality profiles, trend stories, human interest stories or any feature that is not a breaking news story. Entries must be a single piece originally presented in Spanish.

Maximum running time: 15 minutes.

Entrant should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred), or upload a video file to the awards site. [50 MB file limit] All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.


Television Documentaries

  — Network/Syndication Service/Program Service
  — Large-Market Station: 1-50 market
  — Small-Market Station: 50+ market

Each award recognizes reporters and production teams that dramatically show or analyze a news event, issue or feature in a single telecast. The telecast may be part of a documentary series but must stand alone in telling its story. Maximum running time: 60 minutes. Documentary series themselves may be considered in the Public Service category, if applicable.

Entrant should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred), or upload a video file to the awards site. [50 MB file limit] All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.


Public Service in Television Journalism

  — Network/Syndication Service/Program Service
  — Large-Market Station: 1-50 market
  — Small-Market Station: 50+ market

Each award recognizes a television news organization that renders public service through extensive coverage of an issue facing the community it serves. Reporting may be conducted by one reporter or a team. Entry may be a single broadcast or a series of no more than 30 minutes. Commercially sponsored programs are ineligible unless produced and controlled by the news organization.

Entrant should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred), or upload a video file to the awards site. [50 MB file limit] All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.

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All Platforms

Fact-Checking

This award recognizes excellence in fact-checking, in a single work distributed on any platform. Work may be published in print or online; broadcast on TV or on radio; or shared by other means, such as in a podcast. An audio or video segment may be up to 10 minutes. An online entry should consist of a URL accessible until September 30, 2022. Entries will be judged on originality, significance, depth, sourcing, logic and clarity. Entries may not be submitted in any other category.


Collaborative Journalism

This category is for two or more unrelated organizations in which at least one is a college, university or similar academic program that has contributed significantly. This award recognizes collaborative team reporting on a topic involving both professional and student reporting teams.

Entries must include one main URL and up to four additional URLS to highlight specific elements of the project. Entries that fail to provide active URLs will be disqualified. Entries will be judged on newsworthiness, originality, design, content, and clarity.


Inequalities in Society

This category recognizes outstanding work about systemic racism and/or other examples of inequalities or bias about, but not limited to race, religion or gender identity. Entries can include anything aired, streamed or published.

1) Print/Online: no more than three elements to a submission

OR

2) Broadcast/Cable: total running time of entry cannot exceed 15 minutes; entry may include multiple parts as long as the time limit is observed.

Entries that exceed the 15-minute limit will be disqualified.

Entries will be judged from a variety of journalism organizations including, but not limited to: SPJ, NAHJ, NABJ, RTDNA, NAJA, AAJA, NLGJA, JAWS.


Environment/Climate Reporting

This new category recognizes outstanding work in environmental/climate reporting. Entries can include anything aired, streamed or published but should not be an opinion piece.

A single piece may only be entered in one category (i.e. If entering a story here, it cannot also be entered in Investigative Reporting).

1) Print/Online: no more than three elements to a submission

OR

2) Video/Audio: total running time of entry cannot exceed 15 minutes; entry may include multiple parts as long as the time limit is observed.

Entries that exceed the 15-minute limit will be disqualified.


Travel Journalism

This new category recognizes outstanding work in focusing on travel, including destination reports, industry and trend pieces and personal travel accounts.

Entries can include anything aired, streamed or published.

Submit one piece or series of no more than three pieces by a single writer.

A single piece may only be entered in one category (i.e. If entering a story here, it cannot also be entered in Feature Reporting).

1) Print/Online: no more than three elements to a submission

OR

2) Video/Audio: total running time of entry cannot exceed 15 minutes; entry may include multiple parts as long as the time limit is observed.

Entries that exceed the 15-minute limit will be disqualified.


Arts/Fashion Journalism

This new category recognizes outstanding work in focusing on arts and fashion.

Submit one piece or series of no more than three pieces by a single writer.

Entries can include anything aired, streamed or published and may include but are not limited to personality/company profiles, trends, features and investigative reports. Critical/opinion pieces should be submitted to the new Cultural Criticism category.

A single piece may only be entered in one category (i.e. If entering a story here, it cannot also be entered in Television Documentaries).

1) Print/Online: no more than three elements to a submission

OR

2) Video/Audio: total running time of entry cannot exceed 15 minutes; entry may include multiple parts as long as the time limit is observed.

Entries that exceed the 15-minute limit will be disqualified.


Food/Restaurant Journalism

This new category recognizes outstanding work in focusing on food and restaurant stories. Submit one piece or series of no more than three by a single writer.

Entries can include anything aired, streamed or published and may include but are not limited to company profiles, trends, features and investigative reports. Critical pieces dealing with food and restaurants are welcome in this category.

A single piece may only be entered in one category (i.e. If entering a story here, it cannot also be entered in either of the Podcast categories).

1) Print/Online: no more than three elements to a submission

OR

2) Video/Audio: total running time of entry cannot exceed 15 minutes; entry may include multiple parts as long as the time limit is observed.

Entries that exceed the 15-minute limit will be disqualified.


Cultural Criticism

This new category recognizes outstanding critical writing on cultural matters. Submit 3-5 critical pieces in any format (television, print, online, audio) by a single writer. These can include but are not limited to commentary on music, theater, dance, television, gaming, architecture, visual art and literature. The opinion/viewpoint of the journalist should be clear.

Food or restaurant reviews should be submitted to the Food/Restaurant Journalism category instead of here.

A single entry may only be entered in one category (i.e. If entering columns here, they cannot also be entered in the General Column Writing category).

1) Print/Online: no more than three elements to a submission

OR

2) Video/Audio: total running time of entry cannot exceed 15 minutes; entry may include multiple parts as long as the time limit is observed.

Entries that exceed the 15-minute limit will be disqualified.


Video Game/Tabletop Game Reporting

This award recognizes a reporter or team for coverage of video games. Entry may be a single article or series of no more than three articles by a single writer.

No game reviews. Instead, enter those in the new Cultural Criticism category.

The date of publication should be visible.

Entries should consist of one main URL and up to two additional URLs to highlight specific features of the article or package. Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2022.

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For more information, contact SPJ headquarters via email.