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Excellence in Institutional Writing Awards

 Call for Entries and Rules     Create an Entry     Past Winners       Contact



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, 2019. Your entry is not complete until you receive a confirmation email.

The Purpose

The National Association of Science Writers established the Excellence in Institutional Writing Award to recognize high-caliber, publicly accessible science writing produced on behalf of an institution or other non-media organization.

The Awards

In 2019, NASW will give awards in two categories based on length.

  • Short-form: A single piece or story package up to 1,000 words or a single broadcast up to 2 ½ minutes long.
  • Long-form: A single piece or story package of more than 1,000 words or a single broadcast more than 2 ½ minutes long.

Rules for Submission

Please follow the rules carefully. Submissions that do not follow these procedures will not be considered.

  • Any individual (staff or freelance) who produces science writing on behalf of one or more institutions is eligible to submit one entry in each category.
  • An entry should be a single piece or story package. The award is platform-independent: An entry can be a press release, news story, feature story, magazine article, blog post or other web content, or video or audio piece.
  • The entry must have been produced on behalf of an institution or other non-media organization.
  • Non-bylined pieces are subject to independent review for confirmation of authorship.
  • Work must be written or produced in English, intended for the non-specialist, and first published or broadcast in North America between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018.
  • Entries will be judged on the quality of the writing and the effectiveness with which the work conveys accurate science to a public audience.
  • Entries must be complete and submitted online to be considered.

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 passports or other 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 offer and 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.

Information provided by or on behalf of Entrants to enter these awards will not be sold to third parties but may be shared as necessary for the purposes of judging and awarding prizes. NASW may occasionally contact Entrants via email concerning the awards, and each Entrant consents to receiving such communications via email.  Each Entrant accepts our Privacy Policy, available at https://www.nasw.org/sites/default/files/NASWPrivacyPolicy.pdf, and our Terms of Use, available at https://www.nasw.org/sites/default/files/TermsofUse1214.pdf.

To enter

  • There is no submission fee for current members of the National Association of Science Writers. The entry fee for non-members is $45 per entry.
  • 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, 2019. Your entry is not complete until you receive a confirmation email.
  • Entries should not 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 2019. Entries that are not accessible at the time of judging will not be considered.


NASW will award cash prizes of $2,000 for the winning entry in each category. The awards will be announced in September 2019 and presented during ScienceWriters2019, which will be held October 25-29 in State College, Pa. Reasonable travel and up to two nights’ hotel expenses of the award winners will be reimbursed. In cases of multiple authors, only one person’s expenses will be covered, and the prize money will be split between the authors at their discretion. However, the prize money is intended for content authors, not publications or institutions.

Questions? Contact director@nasw.org 

Are you looking for NASW's Science in Society Journalism Awards? Visit nasw.org/scienceinsociety.