2017 Awards Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers about the Education Writers Association contest.

Most common questions about the awards are listed here.

1. Can I enter the beat categories even if I write for a magazine or weekly?

Yes, reporters whose work appears in magazines or weeklies, such as Education Week, The Atlantic, L.A. Weekly or The Chronicle of Higher Education, may enter the beat reporting categories found under General News Outlets. Determine the Full-Time Employee (FTE) size of your magazine or weekly’s newsroom and submit the work into the beat category for that newsroom size. (More details on how to make those calculations can be found here.) Magazines and weeklies must follow the beat submission rules. However: No more than two items from magazines or weeklies may have more than one byline; and the beat entry submission should not be identical to a submission in any other category, except for the Eddie Prize. A magazine or weekly investigation or feature submission should be entered in one of the two Magazine/Weekly categories. To enter the contest, fill out this application.

2. Why aren’t works by non-journalists eligible for these awards?

There are many thoughtful writers in the teaching, think tank, and research communities who contribute much to education journalism by providing news tips, quotes, research and perspective. However, this contest honors the very best of independent education journalism. EWA is grateful to its community members for their continued support for expanding the breadth and depth of independent education journalism.

3. Are there categories for education-only outlets?

Not anymore. EWA heard from education-only and general-interest outlets that they welcomed the opportunity to have their work compared to one another.


1. Can I send my payment for entry later?

Yes, but payments must be postmarked by December 15, 2017, when the entries are turned over to the judges. Do not send cash. Mail checks to: EWA, 3516 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

2. What are the entry fees?

For every category but the Eddie Award, the per-entry fees are: for EWA members; $50. For non-members: $100. (There is no charge for entering the Eddie Prize competition.) 

3. What should I include in my cover letter?

The cover letter can be written by the entrant(s) or an editor. Briefly state why the entry matters and include background information if appropriate, such as whether the entry required significant public records requests, led to the changing of local or national laws, uncovered a critical issue or violation, or any other impact. Also include login information to bypass your site’s paywall (or upload PDFs of your items in the appropriate portion of the application). Please add the URLs to your entry in this cover letter — make sure the links work. We encourage entrants to include the the story titles, too. The suggested length for your cover letter is one page. (Click here for the entry form.)

4. Does my entry have to be submitted online?

Yes. If you have questions, contact

5. What is the latest date for accepting entries?

All entries must be uploaded before 11:59 p.m. (Pacific) on December 15, to be eligible for entry.

6. Does the entry have to come from my current employer? I want to submit something from a previous employer.

If you’re entering work from a previous employer, just be sure to enter the contact information of the editor who supervised you at your former outlet. Also be sure to note in the relevant fields that the work was done for a previous outlet, not your current one. All other rules apply.

7. Are the fees per article or per entry?

The payment is per entry, not per article. For example, if a category permits up to seven articles or pieces, and you submit seven articles for that entry, you pay once.

8. What format should I use to submit my work? 

You can submit your work either as PDFs or URLS: you don’t have to provide both formats. (Please refer to the separate rules for broadcast entries.) URLs alone are also enough. Make sure there’s open access to the links, or provide us with log-in information for the judges to bypass paywalls. 

9. Can I take back an entry I submitted? What about a refund?

Once an entry is submitted, you cannot delete it, so use the application process carefully. We cannot refund your application fee, either.

10. I have a series that might be investigative. Should I hedge my bets and enter it into regular series instead?

No. It’s not a strategy that works. The judges can move entries into another category if they feel the entry doesn’t fit into the category they are judging — and they often do.

11. Do you accept entries in languages other than English?

At this time, we can only accept entries written or broadcast in English.

12. Can I enter a story in more than one category?

No, pieces cannot be entered in multiple categories, except those entered in the beat category or for the Eddie Award. See rules for more details.

13. What are the cash prizes per award?

They are $1,000 for winning a category; $2,500 for the Moskowitz Prize for Outstanding Beat Reporting; $7,500 for the Edwin Gould Foundation’s Eddie Prize; and $10,000 for the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting.

How to Submit in the Right Category

1. I have a submission that ran as part of a partnership with a different outlet, what do I do?

Enter yours in the category for which the larger collaborating partner would be eligible. However, EWA requests submission letters signed by representatives from all outlets that participated in the production and publication of the entry. (See the Rules page on additional things to consider if your work included partnering with another outlet(s).)

2. How will you know the size of my newsroom? And why the change?

We’ll take you at your word, though if we have reason to believe you fall into a different category size, we may move your submission to its rightful place. We adopted the FTE newsroom staff model of gauging the size of the publication because we believe that metric has more to do with the resources of an outlet than does circulation size or Web traffic. Here are the details on the exact sizes for each category.

3. I’m a journalist who writes for a daily blog of a magazine or weekly publication. Do I still apply for a category under magazines and weeklies?

Yes. While there is no best blog category, feel free to submit your work in the most appropriate of those two listed categories. However, if your items are opinion pieces, enter them in the “Opinion” category.

4. I am a non-journalist but also contribute to a news outlet or magazine. What do I do?

EWA accepts only those entries produced by journalists that ran in a journalism outlet.

5. I am a freelance journalist, what do I do?

You have several options. Collect your work and decide to which category it belongs (magazines and weeklies, broadcast, etc.). For example, if you want to submit items that ran in various magazines, pick out up to the maximum allowable number of clips for your category and send those as your single entry. Be sure to include a letter or endorsement from a representative of the outlet or outlets in which your item(s) ran.

6. How do I enter for an Eddie Prize?

Create an account on EWA’s awards website. There is no entry fee for the Eddie. However, entrants who wish to also be eligible for any other EWA award, including the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting and its $10,000 prize, must enter a category in addition to the Eddies.