Guidelines and Tips for Submitting Entries

Guidelines and Tips for Submitting Entries

SOPA Guidelines for Submitting Entries 2019-20 v1 (pdf)

SOPA Awards Submission site (https://sopawards.awardsplatform.com)

Five Top Tips to Win a SOPA Award

1. Be selective. There are a lot of categories. Look at last year’s winning entries and pick the category where you think your story will have the best chance of winning. Is it better suited to, say, Environment or Investigative Reporting? Women’s Issues or Explanatory Reporting?

2. Go for impact.  Aim for stories that packed a punch: Did the story expose misconduct? Spark a national conversation? Draw international attention to an issue? One strong story may have a better chance than submitting a package that includes weaker ones.

3. Make your case. Nomination letters are critical. Be sure yours is compelling. Clearly explain why your entry deserves consideration in the category you entered and how it fulfils your publication’s stated editorial objectives. Give us the context: How important is the topic? How difficult was it to report? Why did it matter? What was the impact?

4. Make it easy. The judges need to quickly understand what you are submitting. For instance, if it is a PDF of a print edition, clearly mark the exact articles and/or sidebars to be considered.  If it is a series of photographs that are part of a bigger portfolio, clearly outline the photos (up to 5) that you want the judges to consider.

5. Avoid disqualification. Read the Rules and the FAQ. Don’t exceed the number of articles or photographs allowed. Make sure the URL that you attached on your entry functions during the specified judging period. For multiple submissions in a given category, make sure your package adheres to a unifying theme. Submit your entry before the deadline. No exceptions will be given.