Come be a part of a storied tradition! Florida’s most rewarding journalism competition is officially open.
For more than 60 years, the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Competition has been recognizing the best in Florida journalism. Those who have gone on to win national recognition, including staffers now at the New York Times and the Washington Post, are among the club’s past honorees.
This year, recognizing how the COVID-19 pandemic has left no life untouched in myriad ways, the contest has added three categories for pandemic coverage: Breaking News, Business News and Features Reporting.
Since the 1950s, the Florida Press Club has been awarding the state’s best journalism with prizes in photography, writing and design. Work in multi-media presentation and new sites have also become a part of it. None of our categories require print publication, except for the layout categories. Our top award, the Frances DeVore Award for Public Service, comes with a $1,000 prize.
You can enter here. Click on “Open Call Login” to get started.
The deadline is Aug. 13.
Official Rules and Eligibility
The Excellence in Journalism Competition is open only to members of the Florida Press Club. Membership is $25 per person/per year and must be submitted with contest entry. If you are a contest administrator, please email a list containing your entrants’ names and email addresses to fpcpresident[at]gmail[dot]com after submitting.
- Entries must have been published or produced in Florida or transmitted from Florida by a wire service between June 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021.
- Fees are $15 per entry—with two exceptions. There will be a $25 fee per entry for the Lucy Morgan Award for In-depth Reporting and/or Frances DeVore Award for Public Service categories. Payment must be received with entries through PayPal.
- Limit of four names per credit lines. After four, enter entry as “Staff.”
- The same item may be entered in multiple categories. Each additional entry requires an additional $15 fee.
- Most writing, photography and illustration categories call for up to three samples of your work per entry. Do not enter more than three items unless the category calls for “up to five.” To add online entries, you may add URLs on a Word document.
- Improperly prepared entries or incomplete entry forms will be disqualified. Under no circumstances will entry fees be refunded.
- Judges may award first, second and third place winners in each category at their discretion. Decisions are final. No entries will be returned. Judges may elect to not award a category, or the club may choose to combine classes within a category.
- The first-place, overall winner of the Frances DeVore Award will receive a check for $1,000 at the November awards meeting. Classes A-D will be combined. Winners are required to attend to receive their prize with very few exceptions (such as hospitalization). Entrant(s) must indicate on the entry form to whom the award check should be made payable.
- Work solely published on online platforms are eligible to enter any category that fits.
ENTRIES MUST BE UPLOADED, FINALIZED AND PAID FOR BY August 13, 2021. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Class A: Daily newspapers with more than 40,000 or more circulation.
Class B: Daily newspapers with 15,000 to 39,999 circulation.
Class C: Daily newspapers, non-daily newspapers, community, tribal and college newspapers and sites with less than 15,000 daily interactions. Florida magazines and newspaper supplements are included in this class.
Breaking News: Submit up to three news stories that show deadline coverage of a breaking news event.
Business Writing: Submit up to three stories about business news events, trends, people, new products and technology.
Commentary Writing: Submit up to three columns, essays, think pieces or personal experience stories.
Community News: Submit up to three stories focusing on local community affairs.
COVID-19 Breaking News: Submit up to three news stories that show deadline coverage of the pandemic.
COVID-19 Business News: Submit up to three news stories that show the pandemic’s effect on any aspect of economics, work life, insurance, and personal finances.
COVID-19 Features Reporting: Submit up to three stories that show a deeper look into the pandemic’s effect, including stories about education, health, minority populations, arts and entertainment.
Education News: Submit up to three stories from the education beat.
Environmental Writing: Submit up to three stories about environmental issues.
General News: Submit up to three stories about non-deadline events.
Government News: Submit up to three stories about municipal, county, state or federal government. Freedom of Information stories are not to be entered in this category.
Headline Writing: Submit up to three headlines.
Health Writing: Submit up to three stories about health issues.
Light Feature Writing: Submit up to three stories from different human-interest assignments of a lighter nature (holiday, travel features).
Minority News: Submit up to three stories about issues of special concern to a minority community.
Opinion Writing: Submit up to three non-byline editorials about different Florida issues.
Public Safety Reporting: Submit up to three news stories about fire, police or criminal court events.
Religion Writing: Submit up to three stories about religion.
Serious Feature Writing: Submit up to three stories from different human-interest assignments of a serious nature (news features, in-depth profiles).
Sports Writing: Submit up to three stories from different sports events.
Sports Feature Writing: Submit up to three human-interest sports stories.
Sports Column: Submit up to three sports columns.
Travel and Tourism: Submit up to three stories about travel or tourism.
Front Page Design: Submit up to three front pages.
Feature Page Design: Submit up to three fronts from the feature section.
Sports Page Design: Submit up to three sports fronts.
Submit fashion, leisure, bridal, hurricane or other special sections that appear on an irregular or annual basis. Staff entries accepted.
Breaking News: Submit up to three pictures of unscheduled or breaking news events for which no advanced planning was possible.
Feature Photo Essay: Submit one package showing a complete feature story. Staff entries accepted.
Features: Submit up to three pictures of a found situation or images created for a feature story with human interest. As a standalone, it’s a fresh view of an everyday scene.
General News: Submit up to three pictures of an organized event for which planning was possible.
Photo Illustration: Submit up to three pictures that creatively illustrate a preconceived concept or situation that would otherwise be difficult to show.
Portrait/Personality: Submit up to three pictures that capture an aspect of a subject’s character.
Sports Action: Submit up to three pictures showing action in a game or athletic event.
Sports Feature: Submit up to three pictures showing non-action or a found situation with human interest at a game or athletic event.
Info-Graphic Presentation: Submit up to three samples of informational-graphics.
Artist Illustration: Submit up to three examples of artwork that illustrate an idea, scene or story. These can be drawings, photos, clip art, etc.
Editorial Cartooning: Submit up to three editorial/political cartoons about different Florida subjects.
Multimedia Package: Submit a link to the web page that shows the best use of multiple forms of media to enhance a story. These may include a combination of elements, such as interactive maps, rollovers, podcasts, photo galleries or other unique uses of technology. Upload URLs on a Word document, and make sure the broadcast dates are visible.
Affiliated News Site: A general-excellence award. Judged on overall content and design, local emphasis, interactivity, ease of navigation and features not found in the print edition.
Independent News Site: A general-excellence award. Judged on overall content and design, local emphasis, interactivity and ease of navigation. PDFs or Word documents of particular days can be submitted.
Frances DeVore Award for Public Service: This is the club’s most prestigious award. It recognizes an outstanding contribution to the public good and celebrates journalism that makes a difference. Entries can include any package or series that reported conditions harmful to the public and resulted in action to alleviate those conditions. Entries must also include documentation showing that action was taken. That can include follow-up stories, written statements from officials or government reports. Judges will consider up to five combinations of photographs, originally produced artwork and graphics, as well as editorials and cartoons. A written introduction is advised to tell judges what happened and why it is important. It should outline the reporting process and any hurdles overcome to get the story, such as a public records battle. A $1,000 prize will be awarded to the overall, first-place winner of classes A-D. Staff entries accepted.
Freedom of Information Award: This award goes to the newspaper that has done the most to defend or extend Florida’s public record and Sunshine laws in the last year. Submit up to five combinations of stories, editorials, columns, cartoons or photographs that reveal the effort your paper made to defend or extend these laws, as well inform us of the outcome. Please submit a 500-word description to help the judges understand the project. Staff entries accepted.
Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting: This category is open to news, features, sports and editorial reporting. Submit a story package series of up to five clearly related or set of continuous stories on one subject. Staff entries accepted.
That is so … Florida Award: Wildlife, weather or just plain weird, Florida’s reputation as the sinkhole of silly keeps the whole country entertained. It’s the stuff you wouldn’t use in a novel but really happens here: Alligator-riding racoons, naked burglars or that guy who tried to sell a live shark in the Publix parking lot. Submit a selection of up to three stories to demonstrate all the pun possible with nudity, nunchucks, necrophilia, or … well, you get the picture. Since this is not like to be a line on your resume, first place gets a $100 award in each category. Second place is $50; third, $15. Preference is given to those entries not involving exploitation of the mentally ill.
*Winners of the Freedom of Information Award, Frances DeVore Award for Public Service and Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting will be recognized on the Florida Press Club’s website. We ask that the entrants allow us to post their work or excerpts of their work on our website. We will of course link back to either the company’s or entrant’s website of choice.