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Enter the News Brief Award– deadline is Feb 1, 2017!

February 1, 2017

We love longform, but short pieces are the true workhorses of science communication. In the spirit of recognizing these unsung works of excellence, we offer the DCSWA Newsbrief Awards. Since 2009, we’ve been celebrating achievement in brief science writing, and in 2015, we added a Multimedia category.

Deadline is 11:59 p.m. EST on February 1, 2017.

Members of DCSWA can enter their own work, or others can nominate it, via the entry form.

Entries will be judged by a panel of science writers selected by the DCSWA board. The winning writer(s) in each category will receive a prize of $300. Honorable mention certificates will be awarded at the judging panel’s discretion.


  1. DCSWA members in good standing as of the deadline are eligible to win.
  1. An entry may be submitted either by the individual(s) responsible for it or by a nominator, who does not have to be a DCSWA member.
  1. Entries will be accepted in two categories: writing and multimedia. The writing category is for primarily written print or online science stories (including, but not limited to, news, commentary, blog posts, and press releases). The multimedia category applies to audio, video, slideshow, or other multimedia science stories. Entries must be published or distributed between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016. Entries must be submitted as originally published or broadcast.
  1. Entries should be brief. Though there are no strict length limits, please note that judges will strongly favor written work of less than approximately 500 words, video and audio work of less than approximately 3:30 minutes, and other types of work of equivalent brevity.
  1. Entries must be submitted to the form at the provided link with all the required information. For problems or questions with the form, email newsbriefaward@gmail.com.
  1. Deadline is 11:59 p.m. EST on February 1, 2017.
  1. Each entrant may be associated with up to two entries. A collaborative effort of multiple authors may be submitted, but at least one author must be eligible, and all authors’ names must be included. Unrelated stories may not be submitted as a single entry, even if by the same author or published/broadcast consecutively.
  1. The Awards will be administered by a Committee that includes at least one member from the DCSWA Board. The Committee will select the Judging Panel. The work of the Awards Committee, the Judging Panel, and DCSWA officers is not eligible for the 2016 DCSWA Science Newsbrief Awards.
 Board members who are not officers are eligible.
  1. DCSWA reserves the right to cancel the 2016 DCSWA Science Newsbrief Awards if the quantity or quality of the collected entries are judged by the Judging Panel to be insufficient to merit recognition. Judges also have the right to select up to two honorable mentions.

Award History

The idea for the DCSWA Newsbrief Award began at the 2007 Metcalf Institute’s Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists, when participants and former DCSWA board members Christine Dell’Amore and Chelsea Wald brainstormed ways to give more credit to science writers who write short pieces. They pitched the idea of an award to DCSWA, which agreed to fund it in 2009.

In the DCSWA spirit of inclusivity, all DCSWA members—journalists, PIOs, bloggers, and other science writers—compete side-by-side for the award. The first prizes were given in 2010 for work completed in 2009. The award is announced at the holiday party and presented at the DCSWA Professional Development Day. The winning writer(s) in each category will receive a prize of $300. Honorable mention certificates will be awarded at the judging panel’s discretion.

We welcome suggestions for how to make the DCSWA Newsbrief Award the best award out there. Please send your ideas to newsbriefaward@gmail.com.



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