2022 OWAA Excellence In Craft (EIC) Contest Rules

Categories, deadlines, and everything you need to know to enter.

The Outdoor Writers Association of America annually honors the best-of-the-best in outdoor journalism through its Excellence In Craft Contest. 

  • The EIC Contest is open to all OWAA members and will award first-, second- and third-place winners in 10 Media Categories: Blog, Book, Column, Graphic/Illustration, Magazine/E-zine, Newspaper/News Website, Photography, Photo Essay, Radio/Podcast, and TV/Video/Webcast.
  • All entries must be related to the outdoors, published either in traditional media or on the internet, as a professional effort, meaning the member has received direct payment or otherwise derived income through advertising or other sponsorship related to the published entry.
  • The contest period for eligible entries is Jan. 1, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2021, except for the Book Contest which is for works published between Dec. 1, 2019 through Nov. 30, 2021.
  • Entries in all contest categories can be submitted beginning Nov. 1, 2021. The entry deadline is Jan. 15, 2022, except for the Book Contest which is Dec. 1, 2021.
  • The entry process for the 2022 EIC Contest is managed through a partnership with Submittable, an OWAA Supporting Group that specializes in on-line contest submissions. All entries must be submitted online through Submittable, except for Book entries, which must be mailed to OWAA EIC Contest, c/o Chez Chesak, 3420 Lyleburn Pl, Cincinnati OH 45220 with a postmark no later than midnight EST Dec. 1, 2021.
  • To avoid confusion and extra work for OWAA staff and volunteers, members must enter only their OWN work through their individual Submittable account.
  • To begin submitting online entries, go to https://owaa.submittable.com/signup to create a FREE Submittable account, which allows you access to EIC entry forms. Each Media Category – Blog, Book, Column, Graphic/Illustration, Magazine/Magazine Website, Newspaper/News Website, Photography, Photo Essay, Radio/Podcast, and TV/Video/Webcast – has its own entry form.
  • The entry deadline is midnight EST, Jan. 31, 2022 for all Media Categories except the Book Contest in which entries must be postmarked no later than midnight EST Dec. 1, 2021.
  • The entry fee for all contests is $15 per submission. 
  • Entries in Blog, Column, Graphic/Illustration, Magazine/Magazine Website, Newspaper/News Website, Photography, Photo Essay, Radio/Podcast, and TV/Video/Webcast submitted after midnight EST, Jan. 15, 2022 will be charged an additional $10 late fee with a final submission deadline of Jan. 31, 2022. Entries submitted after that date will be disqualified.
  • Entry fee payment must be submitted through Submittable using credit card, or by mailing a check. 
  • All online credit card payments are tied to the specific Media Category being entered. You can make one credit card payment for multiple entries in a specific Media Category (e.g., Blogs, Photography, etc.), but the system doesn’t allow bundling entries from multiple Media Categories into a single payment. In other words, you can only process Blog entry fees in the Blog form, Column entry fees in the Column form, and so on.
  • You may, however, submit a single check for all entries in all categories and topics. Mail checks to OWAA EIC Contest – C/O Chez Chesak, 3420 Lyleburn Pl, Cincinnati OH 45220. Checks must be postmarked before the contest deadline.

Members must have their dues paid to enter.

Your first step is to create a FREE Submittable account, which allows you access to EIC entry forms and other opportunities with Submittable.

If you have any questions on how to create a Submittable account, contact EIC contest coordinator Phil Bloom at philbloom.owaa@frontier.com or the Submittable help desk at support@submittable.com.

Special Thanks

Thanks to Friesens Publishing, Henry Repeating Arms, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, and Pew Charitable Trusts for their sponsorship of the 2021 EIC Contest. The support of brands like these is critical to help keep this program running year after year and provides additional prize money for category winners. 

The Photo Scavenger Hunt is always one of the most popular events at the OWAA conference, with participants competing for cash and prizes.  


The 2022 Photo Scavenger Hunt includes five (5) photo subjects. Only one (1) photo of each assigned subject shall be judged per participant. Only the first five images submitted by a participant shall be judged.


Contest Rules

  • The contest is open to Active, Associate, Lifetime and Student members of OWAA.
  • The 2022 Photo Scavenger Hunt includes five (5) photo subjects. Submit one (1) photo per subject/category. Only one (1) photo of each assigned subject shall be judged per participant. 
  • Digital images only.
  • All entries will be made through Submittable.com, the same platform used for OWAA's Excellence In Craft Contest. If you have a Submittable account already, go to https://owaa.submittable.com/login and look for the Photo Scavenger Hunt 2022 entry form. If you do not have a Submittable account, go to https://owaa.submittable.com/signup and create a free account before proceeding to the entry form.
  • Photos must be in JPEG format. 
  • Spouses, partners and family members of judges are ineligible for cash prizes.
  • Failure to comply with these rules will result in disqualification.
  • Deadline: Photo Scavenger Hunt participants must upload their images here by 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 22.
  • Scavenger hunt photographs must be taken in an ethical, respectful and safe manner. OWAA assumes no liability for the actions of the photographers. Contest registration and a list of the photo subjects will be provided at the conference desk.
  • Submissions will be capped at 15.

PRIZES

  • First Place $150 
  • Second Place $100
  • Third Place $50

Additional honorable mentions may be recognized during the photo scavenger hunt awards presentation.

Outdoor Writers Association of America