American Society of Journalists and Authors Launches First-Of-Its-Kind COVID-19 Writing Awards

NEW YORK (May 19, 2020) – The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) has launched the ASJA Crisis Coverage Awards: COVID-19 Edition, the first-ever global awards program recognizing writers for their coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak. The contest is now open, and submissions will be accepted until July 3, 2020.

"Professional journalists are key in helping us all navigate the confusing and conflicting news about a worldwide crisis that is changing our lives," said Janine Latus, chair of the ASJA Crisis Coverage Awards. "ASJA is proud to recognize our colleagues' vital work as they help audiences make sense of all aspects of the coronavirus pandemic."

Writers are invited to submit English-language articles, including self-nominations, published between January 1 and June 30, 2020. Teams of leading journalists will judge submissions based on quality of writing and reporting and whether new information was provided or a familiar concept was given a fresh perspective. Submissions must fit into one of the following categories.

  • Business & Economy – including all financial aspects, the effect on contract workers, recession, furloughs, open-up movements, remote work, supply chain disruptions, unemployment and travel and tourism.
  • Education – including homeschooling, school-related online classes and virtual internships.
  • Healthcare – including the broad spectrum of COVID-19’s impact on medical personnel, infection spread and testing, hospital overload, the reduction of elective procedures and long-term implication of delayed treatments for issues unrelated to COVID-19.
  • Mental Health – including explorations of resilience, grief, isolation, stress, pandemic fatigue, anxiety, depression and suicide.
  • Personal Essays – first-person accounts of any aspect of the pandemic.
  • Politics & Government – including federal, state, local and international government responses, positions by political entities, effect on campaigns and elections, stimulus efforts and the disparity of COVID-19’s impact on different demographics.
  • Science – including COVID-19 research, efforts toward vaccines and treatments, virus origin and evolution and future implications.
  • Social Adaptation – including parenting and innovative ways of dealing with isolation (i.e. incorporating social distancing into celebrations, finding at-home hobbies, online versions of traditionally in-person activities).
  • Technology – including quarantine chats, Zoom popularity, TV shows from home (like Saturday Night Live), tracking technologies, vaccine/treatment technologies and 3D printing of protective equipment.

“The aim of the awards is to bring greater visibility to this important time in our world history. I applaud Janine Latus and the ASJA Crisis Awards Committee for developing such a timely program to showcase the work of writers globally,” said Milton C. Toby, JD, president of ASJA.

Writers may apply for multiple categories, but cannot use the same article more than once. Articles can be submitted by visiting http://asja.org/crisis-coverage-awards-covid-19. A portion of the entry fees will be contributed to ASJA’s Writers Emergency Assistance Fund. Winners will receive cash prizes. ASJA will feature winning articles in follow-up press releases and social media posts.

For more information about the ASJA COVID-19 Writing Awards, please contact ASJA Executive Director, Holly Koenig, (212) 297-2123, hkoenig@kellencompany.com
 

About ASJA:

Founded in 1948, the American Society of Journalists and Authors is the nation's professional organization of independent nonfiction writers. ASJA membership consists of outstanding freelance writers of magazine articles, trade books, and many other forms of nonfiction writing, each of whom has met ASJA's exacting standards of professional achievement. ASJA brings leadership in establishing professional and ethical standards, and in recognizing and encouraging the pursuit of excellence in nonfiction writing. ASJA headquarters are in New York City. The Society has active regional chapters in a variety of locations. Learn more at www.asja.org.

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson
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