Contests

The 26th annual Society for Features Journalism Excellence-in-Features Awards honor the craft of feature storytelling and the people who do it for a living at news organizations and wire services. All entries must have been published in print or online between Jan. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2013.

First-place winners in each category will receive $300. Winners will be announced in May and honored at SFJ’s national conference in August in Nashville.

The cost of each entry is $45 for all professional writing, online and video entries; $60  in the Best Niche Product and Best Features Section categories; and $25 for student entries.

The deadline for entries is April 18, 2014.

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General Feature

Feature treatment of any A&E, lifestyles or news topic. Entries can be a single trend story, profile, interview, news feature or general feature of 1,000 words or more. Sidebars accepted. Each entry consists of one story. Multiple bylines accepted.

Arts & Entertainment Feature

Feature treatment of an arts and entertainment topic – such as architecture, art, books, dance, movies, music, opera television or theater. Entries can be a single trend story, interview or feature story. Each entry consists of one story.

Short Feature

Tight, bright writing of fewer than 1,000 words. A word count is required with each entry; entries exceeding the limit will be disqualified. Each entry consists of one story.

Series or Project

Feature treatment of any lifestyle, A&E or news topic that has multiple parts. Sidebars accepted. Can include a written explanation of not more than 250  words on how the story was reported. Each entry consists of the stories that comprise the series or project. Multiple bylines accepted.

Narrative Storytelling

A single story told in a narrative style, using techniques such as character development, use of dialogue, sense of place, scene building, narrative arc and adherence to theme. Sidebars accepted. Each entry consists of one story. All entries, regardless of circulation group, compete in one group.

Feature Specialty Writing Portfolio

Three stories by the same writer on one features specialty topic, such as arts and entertainment, fashion, food, health, religion, technology or travel. Entries can be trend stories, profiles, interviews, news features, general features or narratives covering the same specialty topic. Columns and commentary are excluded. Each entry consists of three stories from the same writer.

General Commentary Portfolio

A collection of three columns or essays by the same writer on any human interest or specialty topic, excluding editorials. Each entry consists of three examples of the writer’s work, showing a range of reporting styles.

Arts & Entertainment Commentary Portfolio

A collection of three columns, essays or reviews by the same writer on any arts and entertainment topic, including dining reviews but excluding editorials. Each entry consists of three examples of the writer’s work.

Blog Portfolio

Three blog posts by the same writer on any feature topic, including commentary and reviews. Each entry consists of three blog posts. All entries, regardless of circulation group, compete in one group.

Headline Writing Portfolio

A collection of three headlines and accompanying decks by the same writer for feature stories or columns. Headlines must be attached to the stories or columns and can be accompanied by related visuals. Entries will be judged on clarity, accuracy and creativity. One entry consists of three headlines and accompanying decks and stories. All entries, regardless of circulation group, compete in one group.

Video Storytelling

The coverage of any A&E, lifestyle or specialty topic using a single video of not more than 5 minutes in length. Entries should demonstrate emotion, humanity or humor. One entry consists of one video.

Integrated Storytelling

The coverage of any A&E, features or lifestyle topic told through the integrated use of print, online, social media, video and any other platform. One entry consists of the package of stories and other elements used to cover the topic.

Digital Innovation

New or improved online ventures, which can include new or upgraded websites, apps, social-media experiments or other ways to share information in the digital world. Entries will be judged on creativity and impact. Must include a description of no more than 250 words on how the innovation came about, its goals and its success. Submit explanation as a Word document attachment. One entry consists of one innovation, such as an app or a website. All entries, regardless of circulation group, compete in one group.

Best Niche Product

The best examples of a niche product – such as a magazine or special section – published at least two times a year. Submit two issues of the same niche product from the 2013 calendar year. Two copies of each issue are required. One entry consists of two copies of each of the two issues. Mail entries to Merrilee Cox, Society for Features Journalism, 1100 Knight Hall, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. Entries must be postmarked by April 18, 2014.

Best Section

The best your publication has to offer in A&E, features and lifestyle coverage. Submit five sections from the 2013 calendar year. One must be an arts-and-entertainment-themed section, and one must be a Sunday section. (If your publication doesn’t print on Sunday, submit one section from Saturday or from your premiere weekly section and add a note of explanation). The other three are the editor’s choice from regularly appearing features sections. Two hard copies of each section are required. One entry consists of two copies of each of the five sections. Entries should be placed in a plain manila envelope and your publication’s name, address and contact person should be included on the front of the envelope. Mail entries to Merrilee Cox, Society for Features Journalism, 1100 Knight Hall, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. Entries must be postmarked by April 18, 2014.

Student General Feature

Feature treatment of any A&E, lifestyles or news topic originally published in a student publication, either in print or online. Entries can be a single trend story, profile, interview, news feature or general feature of 1,000 words or more. Sidebars accepted. Each entry consists of one story. Multiple bylines accepted.

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