Science in Society Journalism Awards
Read details and Rules below then use the link in the menu to create your entry and complete all steps of the online entry process by 11:59PM Eastern on February 1, 2021. Your entry is not complete until you receive a confirmation email.
NASW established the Science in Society awards to provide recognition — without subsidy from any professional or commercial interest — for investigative or interpretive reporting about the sciences and their impact on modern society. Beginning with the first award in 1972, winners have demonstrated innovative reporting that goes well beyond the science itself and into ethical problems and social implications for communities and society at large. We especially seek to recognize science writing that is shaped by a variety of perspectives, because such writing enables us to tell more broadly relevant stories that better serve our readers and communities. Therefore, we consider diversity in topics, sources, audience and authors to be a critical component of excellence. A committee of accomplished peers judges the entries each year.
For works first published or broadcast in North America between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. Categories are platform-independent.
- Books: An entry consists of a book-length work that has been published and made commercially available, either in print or as an ebook.
- Science Reporting: An entry consists of a single article of fewer than 1500 words or a single broadcast of up to 4 minutes in length. If an entry consists of a combination of media (text + video, text + audio, etc.), each minute of audio/video is considered equivalent to 350 words. A mixed-media entry may not exceed the total word limit for the category. Entrants must indicate whether judges should consider text only, or multiple media.
- Science Features: An entry consists of a single article of 1500-4000 words or a single broadcast of 4 - 12 minutes in length. If an entry consists of a combination of media (text + video, text + audio, etc.), each minute of audio/video is considered equivalent to 350 words. A mixed-media entry may not exceed the total word limit for the category. Entrants must indicate whether judges should consider text only, or multiple media.
- Longform Narratives: An entry consists of a single article of 4000 words or more or a single broadcast of 12 minutes or more in length. Entrants must indicate whether judges should consider text only, or multiple media.
- Series: An entry consists of a series of articles/broadcasts published/produced as a coherent, named series in a single publication (or publications working together on the series). Written entries should total 6,000 words or more; broadcast pieces, 15 minutes or more. Series entries may be for any market.
Rules for Submission
Please follow the rules carefully. Submissions that do not follow these procedures will not be considered.
1. Entries must meet the purpose stated above. Material about significant advances in science will be ineligible if the relevance to the broader society is unclear, no matter how well-written the entry.
2. Any author (or team) is eligible to submit one entry in each category as an Entrant. All entries should be attributed to bylined authors and producers. Generally, only authors and producers attributed in the submission will be recognized in the award. An individual is eligible to be an entrant (referred to herein as an “Entrant”) if such individual (a) is eighteen (18) years or older as of January 1, 2020 and is residing and located in a jurisdiction where the awards contest is lawfully allowed; (b) did not win last year’s awards; and (c) has not won the awards three times. The awards contest is void where prohibited.
3. Publishers/Publications/Media outlets may enter, or be represented by, multiple entries in any category. Since authors may be represented only once in each category, if you are entering on an author's behalf, please check with the author first.
4. It is an Entrant’s responsibility to enter in the appropriate category. Miscategorized entries (e.g., a feature or news article in the opinion category) will be disqualified. Entrants may NOT enter the same article in more than one category.
5. Work must be written or spoken in English, intended for the lay adult, and first published or broadcast in North America between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020. Publications based outside North America are eligible if their readership is international.
6. Only online entries will be accepted. With the exception of the Book category and some broadcast content, all entry material must be uploaded online to be part of the entry. If judges are unable to access the entries because of paywalls at any time during the judging process, entries will be disqualified. We recommend all entries include PDF versions in addition to any links to the online version.
Important Legal Information
By submitting any entry, each Entrant represents, warrants, and agrees that:
- The Entrant has the necessary rights and authorizations to submit the entry and is an author, creator, publisher, or producer (or authorized representative thereof) of the entry. Each Entrant agrees to indemnify NASW and its officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives for any costs or expenses of any kind related to a claim or assertion by a third party that the Entrant submitted the entry without authorization to do so.
- NASW and its officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives shall not be responsible for any losses, damages or injuries of any kind relating to Entrants’ participation in the Awards or from Entrants’ acceptance, receipt, possession and/or use or misuse of any prize.
- NASW shall have no liability whatsoever concerning or in any way related to Entrants’ travel. International Awardees shall solely be responsible for obtaining any required travel documents.
- Awardees shall be solely responsible for all taxes, fees, and/or costs associated with any prize.
- Acceptance of an award or honorable mention constitutes the Awardee’s permission for NASW to use Awardee’s name and likeness for promotional purposes in all forms of media in perpetuity without further authorization or compensation.
- NASW assumes no liability, and shall not be liable, for typographical or other errors in the offer or administration of the awards including, without limitation, errors in the printing or display of the official rules, selection, notification and announcement of the winners, or distribution of the awards. NASW is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by internet users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the awards and assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction, or unauthorized access to any systems associated with the awards.
NASW reserves the right to disqualify any entry or Entrant or revoke an Award if NASW determines, in its sole discretion, that an Entrant has violated these Rules or taken actions that undermine, or are intended to undermine, the legitimate operation of the Awards; or that an Entrant has engaged in, or is the subject of investigation of claims of, fraud, harassment, unlawful conduct, or any other act that is inconsistent with the Purpose of these Awards or with any NASW policy, including but not limited to NASW’s Code of Ethics, Code of Conduct, and Operating Principles.
Use the link in the menu to create your entry and complete all steps of the online entry process by 11:59 p.m. EST on February 1, 2021. Your entry is not complete until you receive a confirmation email.
- Entries should include a cover letter.
- Entries can be provided either as a PDF (maximum size 5 MB) or as a URL where the piece can be accessed - for free and without a password - at least through October 2021. Entries that are not accessible at the time of judging will not be considered
- There is no submission fee for current members of NASW.
members of AAJA, BlackAFinSTEM, NABJ, NAHJ, NAJA, NLGJA, SACNAS, SAJA, and the Trans Journalists Association are invited to enter at no cost.
Please adhere to the following file formats and sizes:
• Documents or e-books: PDF, max 10 MB (to minimize file size embedded images should be JPG/JPEG, 96 DPI, which is sufficient for web resolution)
• Audio: MP3, max 70 MB
• Video: MPG or .WMV, max 70 MB
You may also provide the entry as a web address, particularly if the file is too large for these limits. Those entering websites need only provide a working URL below (URL must not require a fee or password). Please ensure that the URL will be active and correct through October 2021. Entries that provide a nonfunctional URL will be disqualified.
File too large? We encourage electronic uploads for all entries, including books. The7 0 MB limit for uploaded audio and video should be sufficient for the majority of entries, e.g. ~24 minutes of audio with a 3:1 compression ratio that allows for excellent sound quality preservation falls under 70 MB. For audio or video pieces larger than 70 MB for which you cannot provide a URL, a one-to-three minute clip should be uploaded and the complete entry should be shipped on DVD or CD. Shorter radio or television entries must be submitted entirely online. If shorter pieces are mailed rather than uploaded, they will not be considered.
To Mail Books or Audio/Video Files over 70MB: We encourage you to submit all material electronically. If you are not able to upload the entire entry, please complete all steps of the online entry process and then send seven (7) copies of the book, DVD, or CD to
Attn: Science in Society
PO Box 7905
Berkeley, CA 94707
Must be postmarked no later than February 1, 2021, to be considered. Submissions will be accepted only at the provided P.O. Box address. NOTE: FedEx and UPS do NOT generally deliver to P.O. boxes. Material that arrives without a corresponding entry submitted online will be disqualified.
We cannot confirm receipt of materials, return materials or provide updates on any entry’s status during the judging process.
NASW will award separate cash prizes of $2,000 for writing judged best in each of the categories. Only authors and producers listed on the original submission will be recognized by the awards. The awards will be announced in September 2021 and presented during 20 in Boulder, CO or online in the case of a virtual event. Reasonable travel and up to two nights’ hotel expenses of the award winners will be reimbursed for an in-person presentation. In cases of multiple authors or producers, only one person’s expenses will be covered, and the prize money will be split between the entrants at their discretion. However, the prize money is intended for content authors or producers, not publications or news organizations.
Questions? Contact email@example.com
Are you looking for NASW's Excellence in Institutional Writing Awards? Visit nasw.org/excellence.