2021 Award Rules


All entries must have been published, posted or broadcast in an independent news outlet for the first time in 2021, with the following exceptions: EWA does accept series in which some of the articles were published during the 2020–2021 school year. However, a majority of the series’ pieces must have run in the calendar year 2021. One note of caution: Stories published or broadcast in 2020 that were recognized in last year’s EWA awards are ineligible for consideration in this year’s awards.

Entrant qualifications

Entries may not include items created by non-journalists. See EWA Bylaws, Article II, Section 1.1, to clarify entrants’ eligibility to be considered journalists. All entrants must have met these eligibility requirements at the time the entry was produced. Officers and members of the Board of Directors of the Education Writers Association may enter but are not eligible to win cash awards in the competition.


All entries must be completed by Jan. 10, 2022, at 9 p.m. Eastern. Category winners and finalists will be announced during late spring 2022.


For 2021, EWA will accept submissions in eight categories: Audio Storytelling, Beat Reporting, Features, Investigative Reporting, News, Public Service, Visual Storytelling and the Eddie Prize. For more details, click on our Categories page.

Maximum number of stories

The maximum number of stories in every category, except beat reporting, is four. If you are entering beat reporting, the maximum is five. You can enter up to one hour max of audio or visual content.

Newsroom size

For all but the Eddie Prize, you must enter in the newsroom size division appropriate for your newsroom. To calculate your newsroom size, count the number of all editorial “Full-time Equivalent” employees, including reporters, editors, designers, online producers and multimedia content producers, such as photographers, data analysts and videographers during the time period the entered work was produced. (Two half-time editors would count as one FTE.) For additional specifics, check out our Awards FAQ


If you are submitting work that involved collaboration by multiple outlets, submit your entry into the category for which the largest of the collaborators is eligible.

Coordinate with your partnering outlets so that only one version of the entry – and/or article or broadcast – is submitted. (See “Repeat Content” below for exception.)

Cover letter

Each entry must include a cover letter that describes the entry’s development and impact, if any. Also, supply all relevant URLs for the entry. If a password is needed to access the content, supply the necessary details in the cover letter or upload PDFs of your work. (Suggestion: Limit the cover letter’s narrative portion to a single page.) 

For collaborative efforts, EWA requests submission letters identify all outlets that participated in the production and/or publication of the entry. 

Entry formats

Judges may disqualify any entry that does not adhere to the rules or that is submitted in a form that is difficult to read, listen to or view (broken links, etc.). All audio and video entries must state run times in the cover letter and should include scripts or transcripts. Visual entries must be in the form of URLs, JPEGs, MOVs, MPEGs, MP4s, PDFs, PNGs or WMVs. Audio entries must be in the form of a URL (preferred), MP3 or WAV.

Repeat content

Any item submitted in one category may NOT be submitted in a second category except as part of a beat reporting entry and/or an entry for the Eddie Prize.


Entries must be paid in full in order to be judged. Fees for members are $60 per entry. For non-members, fees are $110 per entry. Pay online when submitting or send a check made payable to the Education Writers Association, Attention: Awards, 1825 K St. NW,  Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20006. (Mailed payments must be postmarked by Jan. 10, 2022.)

Category classification

EWA staff or Awards Judges may move an entry from one category to another if they determine it is wrongly classified. OurCategory page has more specifics.


Judges reserve the right to forgo awarding prizes in categories for which they determine there are no suitable winners.


When you enter any work to the National Awards for Education Reporting, you are granting us the right to publish excerpts of and promote what you submit — photos, text, videos, etc. — on EWA’s website and through our social media platforms. We do this to highlight the caliber and importance of entries, finalists and winners.