The Society for Features Journalism is thrilled to announce that our 2023 Excellence-in-Features contest is now open for submissions!
Cost is $45 per entry. All entries must have been published in print or online between Jan. 1, 2022, and Dec. 31, 2022.
The deadline to enter is end of day Monday, March 27. You can login in to the Better Newspaper Contest site here and scroll to find 2023 Society for Features Journalism Excellence-in-Features Awards.
There are three divisions based on print circulation. Stories published by digital-only organizations can be entered in Division 3. There are also combined division categories. First-place winners in each category will receive $300.
CATEGORIES BY DIVISION
DIVISION 1 | Circulation up to 90,000
DIVISION 2 | Circulation 90,000 to 199,999
DIVISION 3 | Circulation 200,000 and up; digital-only organizations
- GENERAL FEATURE: Feature treatment of any A&E, lifestyles or news topic.
- ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT FEATURE: Feature treatment of an arts and entertainment topic.
- SHORT FEATURE: Tight, bright writing of fewer than 1,000 words.
- FOOD FEATURE: A single story focusing on food, not including reviews or commentary. Can be a trend story, personality profile, narrative piece, how-to or other feature treatment of a food topic.
- FOOD CRITICISM: A single story, such as a restaurant review, that offers opinions about a topic or restaurant in the food industry.
- FEATURES SERIES OR PROJECT: Feature treatment of any lifestyle, A&E or news topic that has multiple parts.
- 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.
- FEATURES BEAT 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.
- FOOD WRITING PORTFOLIO: Three stories, columns or reviews by the same writer on any food topic.
- GENERAL COMMENTARY PORTFOLIO: A collection of three columns or essays by the same writer on any human interest or specialty topic, excluding editorials. Newsletters qualify here.
- ARTS & CULTURE CRITICISM PORTFOLIO: A collection of three columns, essays or reviews by the same writer on any arts, entertainment or culture topic, including dining reviews but excluding editorials.
- SPORTS FEATURE: Feature treatment of any sports topic.
- VISUAL STORYTELLING: The coverage of any A&E, lifestyle or specialty topic using a single video of not more than 8 minutes in length.
- BEST SPECIAL SECTION: The best your publication has to offer in printed A&E, features and lifestyle coverage.
- BEST SPECIAL PRODUCT: The best examples of a special product – such as a magazine or special section – published at least two times a year.
- BEST CONSUMER/SERVICE FEATURES: Three stories focused on educating readers about topics that affect their everyday lives (e.g., health, retail prices, product availability) in an easy-to-digest, consumer-oriented, “news you can use” way. Multiple bylines accepted. Please attach a 100-150 word letter explaining how the writer(s) knew this was information the community needed.
- BEST FIRST-PERSON NARRATIVE/ESSAYS: A single story written as an essay or in the first-person point of view that demonstrates a sense of proportion and perspective.
- BEST FEATURE WRITING PORTFOLIO: Three stories by the same writer that can be a combination of any beats.
- INCLUSION AND REPRESENTATION IN FEATURES — The coverage of any lifestyle or culture topic that centers historically marginalized or undercovered communities through revelatory storytelling. Such community identities can be at (and is not limited to) any intersection of the following: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs or other ideologies, or any identity with lesser power. An entry can be a single story, a series, multimedia package or any combination thereof. Multiple bylines accepted. An entry should check most of the following points:
- The story is produced for a community, not about it.
- There is a strong voice or point of view.
- There are elements of intentionality, compassion and empathy.
- There is a challenging of assumptions and biases.
- There is a sense of celebration and/or sharing of our journalistic platform.
- There is a sense of urgency.
- There is a portrait of the human experience.
COMBINED DIVISION CATEGORIES
BEST PODCAST — NARRATIVE: An audio story, told in a narrative style, on lifestyle or culture coverage. While the entry can be a limited series, serial or reporting built into a recurring series, the entry should exhibit narrative techniques such as character development, use of dialogue, sense of place, scene building, narrative arc and adherence to theme. The entry should also display the best qualities of this format — production, found sound, voiceover work, etc. — and will be judged by the content as well as its relevance to the moment and the communities it serves. Each entry must include a summary statement of the project of no more than 200 words. All entries consist of three episodes and, regardless of circulation category, compete in one group.
BEST PODCAST — RECURRING SERIES: A regular, recurring podcast series that handles lifestyles or culture coverage. The episodes do not have to be consecutive and do not have to feature the same host. Entries will be judged by quality of content, which includes how journalists are using the medium to advance how we cover news and our communities. All entries consist of three episodes and, regardless of circulation category, compete in one group.