2022 SEOPA Communications Contests

A form has been made for each contest category. You click only on the forms for the categories you wish to enter. If you have any trouble with the forms or would still rather enter using hard copies, please contact Lisa Snuggs at [email protected] or 704-961-7614 for assistance.

Please read all information carefully then click on the appropriate link(s) below to enter.

Excellence in Craft Competition

The Excellence in Craft (EIC) competition offers members an opportunity to receive special recognition for journalism excellence. Submissions must be outdoor-oriented.

Categories have been revised to fit the ever-changing landscape of media formats in the market today (less print, more online). There is a category for Social Media Post and there is now only one category for newspapers and one category for magazines. Three Best Overall Stories categories were added in 2020 They are:

1) Best Overall Hunting/Fishing Story
2) Best Overall Non-Consumptive Story
3) Best Overall News Story

Descriptions are listed below. Due to the changes, any eligible story may be entered in up to three contest categories across ALL contests. For example, if one story fits the criteria for the Magazine, Electronic, and Sharon Rushton Award, it may be entered into all three categories. You may enter additional stories into the Best Overall Story categories ONLY if they are not entered in the Newspaper, Magazine, or Electronic categories. The top three stories in those categories will be entered into the Best Overall contests automatically. See the Best Overall Stories category descriptions below for more information.

The EIC competition has a healthy prize structure of $250 for first place, $150 for second place, and $100 for third place. Awards granted will be based upon the number of entries and pending sponsorships. If a category has fewer than six entries, only first place will be awarded. If entries number between 6-10, first and second place awards will be given. All three awards will be granted when the number of entries exceeds 10 and sponsorships are secured.

Note: All categories except the Industry Public Relations Program category are open to submissions from media members in good standing. The Industry Public Relations Program category is specifically for Corporate members (see the first category below).


All online submissions must be made through this website.

To enter by mail, contact Lisa Snuggs at [email protected] or 704-961-7614 for instructions.

General Entry Rules

1. All entries must be delivered to SEOPA via the online entry form by June 11, 2022.

2. Each member is limited to two entries per category and both entries must be submitted at the same time. Any one work is limited to submission in no more than three categories across the board (EIC and Sharon Rushton Award). Work that has been awarded in previous SEOPA contests is not eligible for re-entry.

3. Entries must be outdoor-oriented and must have been published or broadcast between June 1, 2021, and May 31, 2022. If the publication or broadcast date is not abundantly clear on the .pdf file, or link, please have the editor or publisher send verification to [email protected].

4. All entries must be sent with the entry form via links or .pdf files except for hard copies of books, which should be mailed to SEOPA, P.O. Box 115, Badin, NC 28009. Books and/or e-books must be gifted to judges by contestants. E-mail addresses for judges will be provided by the executive director after the entry deadline. All entries must be listed on the entry form.

5. All categories are open to Active, Active-Retired, Retired, Associate, Student, Apprentice, and Life members with the exception of the Industry Public Relations Program, which shall be limited to Corporate members. All contestants must be members in good standing. EIC Committee members are eligible to enter but are discouraged from doing so.

6. Entrants agree and confirm by entry submission to give SEOPA permission to use their winning entries in publicizing the contest through local publicity exposure or reprinting in SEOPA publications and/or on seopa.org. If such an entry is used by SEOPA in this manner, no royalties or payments are offered by SEOPA and entrants waive such payments.

7. Each category will award: First ($250), Second ($150), and Third ($100) place prizes (based upon the number of entries and sponsorships secured) with appropriate plaques or certificates. Monetary exceptions: the Industry Public Relations Program (no monetary award), the Sharon Rushton Award (one $300 award)

8. Judges will be knowledgeable in the field they are asked to judge. There will be three judges for each category for as much fairness as possible.

9. The EIC Chairman will be the sole arbitrator on any dispute or question concerning the awards competition.

10. All entrants will be invoiced a flat fee of $30 the first business day after the entry deadline. Members may send as many entries as allowed for in the rules for this one-time $30 payment. You may mail a check or call to pay by credit card but the online contest entry forms are required to be completed online. 

About the Contest Rules

Each year, the EIC contest chairman consults with the board, the previous contest chairman, and the executive director to tweak contest rules. Sometimes adjustments can be as simple as changing dates and contact information, but more significant updates were made in the past few years.

Contest Entry Tips

• Take a few quiet minutes to read the General Entry Rules and Category Descriptions in their entirety, and refer to them frequently when completing the entry form.

• Get organized now for the deadline. Some members keep a file throughout the year just for contest entries. When they produce a story, show, photograph, or other material they’d like to submit, they place it in a “contest” folder.

• Pay attention to details. Why take a chance on being disqualified before your work ever gets to a judge? Follow the instructions and ask questions to ensure your entries get reviewed.

Failure to follow all rules will result in disqualification, so please read carefully!

Need Help?

Contact Richard Hines ([email protected] or 270-348-4174) or Lisa Snuggs ([email protected] or 704-961-7614) if you have questions.

2022 Excellence in Craft Category Descriptions, Instructions, and Entry Form Links

Industry Public Relations Program: (Corporate members only) Any public relations program designed to inform the public or service a member of the outdoor media, featuring outdoor subjects and produced between the contest dates. Entries may include press kits, brochures, photo catalogs, computer offerings, special events, broadcast programs, or publications. Advertising campaigns are not eligible. Click HERE to enter.

Newspaper Story: Any feature, column, or article published in a newspaper or on a newspaper’s website. Click HERE to enter.

Magazine Story: Any story of any length published in a print or online magazine. Click HERE to enter.

Electronic Publication Story: Any story of any length published on a pure website, a magazine website, or a newspaper website. Click HERE to enter.

Outdoor Book: Any book featuring outdoor subjects. Submit three copies of the book. If submitting e-books, you will receive instructions from Lisa Snuggs about sending links to judges. Contestants are requested to contribute copies of the book to the reviewers. May include edited and compiled books that involve more than just a short introductory note and have longer introductions or essays, chapter introductory comments, arrangements, editing, essays as part of a compilation or anthology of other works; or longer forewords, introductions, afterwords, etc. Click HERE to enter.

Photograph: Any color or black-and-white photograph featuring outdoor subjects in any print or online medium. One photo constitutes an entry; multiple shots submitted as a single entry will be disqualified. Click HERE to enter.

Video Program: Any Video featuring outdoor subjects produced or released for sale on the web, DVD, or broadcast between the contest dates. Submit a direct link and verification of publication mode via the online form. Click HERE to enter.

Audio Program: Any story or feature produced for profit or broadcast on radio between the contest dates featuring outdoor subjects; or, any audio program on sale to the general public featuring outdoor subjects. Submit a direct link and verification of mode and publication/broadcast date via the online form. Click HERE to enter.

Outdoor Entrepreneur Project: Any original activity, product, or service utilized between the contest dates by the entrant and related to the outdoors demonstrating creativity and risk-taking, and designed to produce a profit is eligible. The contest is designed for projects and activities inappropriate for the other contest categories. If the project is not self-explanatory, please include a one-page explanation. In the event of any question concerning the appropriateness of any submission, consult the chair of the EIC Committee. Projects must not have been previously awarded in SEOPA contests. Click HERE to enter.

Website Award: Recognition for the best websites by individual media members. Click HERE to enter.

Social Media Post: Any outdoor-oriented Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter post. Click HERE to enter.

Best Overall Categories: The top three winners of the Newspaper, Magazine, and Electronic categories will be entered automatically into the Best Overall Story categories below for which they qualify (Hunting/Fishing, Non-Consumptive, or News).

1) Best Overall Hunting and/or Fishing Story: Entries must have been published in a Newspaper, Magazine, or Website as described in the above category descriptions and must pertain mostly to the activities of hunting and/or fishing. ONE WINNER. Click HERE to enter.

2) Best Overall Non-Consumptive Story: Entries must have been published in a Newspaper, Magazine, or Website as described in the above category descriptions and must consist primarily (at least 80 percent) of activities that do not involve the taking of fish, fowl, or game. Examples include hiking, camping, canoeing, foraging, etc. ONE WINNER. Click HERE to enter.

3) Best Overall News Story: Entries must have been published in a Newspaper, Magazine, or Website as described in the above category descriptions and must report on a specific event or action within 14 days of its occurrence. ONE WINNER. Click HERE to enter.

Explanation: The top three winners of the Newspaper, Magazine, and Electronic categories will be automatically entered into the Best Overall Story categories for which they qualify (Hunting/Fishing, Non-Consumptive, or News). If you have a story that has not been entered into the Newspaper, Magazine, and Electronic categories that you would like to have considered in one of the Best Overall Categories, you may enter it separately.

Example 1: Let’s say you have a News Story about the opening of a gun range that was published in a newspaper but you already entered two feature-type stories in the Newspaper category, you could enter your gun range story in the Best Overall News Story category.

Example 2: All your entries in the Newspaper, Magazine, and Electronic categories are about Fishing or Hunting, you could enter something else in the Best Overall Non-Consumptive Story category, as long as it was published in a newspaper, magazine, or electronic platform according to the general rules.

2022 Special Communications Awards Categories

Note: The Sharon Rushton Award competition is separate from the EIC program, but the same general rules apply.

Sharon Rushton Award Sponsored by Daisy

Any work as listed in the EIC categories above published for or about youth in the outdoors. Submit links or .pdf files as indicated in the appropriate EIC contest category directions. Click HERE to enter.

Need Help? 

Contact Richard Hines ([email protected] or 270-348-4174) or Lisa Snuggs ([email protected] or 704-961-7614) if you have questions.