Rules & Eligibility


All entries must have been published or aired in 2023.


Judges will be given discretion to award first and second place winners, and up to three honorable mentions in competitive categories. Judges reserve the right to decline to award. If only one entry is submitted in a category, Syracuse Press Club will return the entry fee and submission and no winner will be awarded. Judges are encouraged to award the following winners depending on the number of submissions received in a category:

  •  2-3 entries = one first prize winner
  • 4-6 entries = first and second prize winners
  • 7-10 entries = first and second prize winners, one honorable mention
  • 11-14 entries = first and second prize winners, two honorable mentions
  • 15 or more entries = first and second prize winners, three honorable mentions


Any category with more than 10 entries will be reviewed by more than one judge. If the rankings for each judge are different, a point-based ranking will be applied to determine the winner. In the event of a tie, both entries would receive the same award.


The contest is open to journalists working in and published within the following 21 counties of New York State: Onondaga, Madison, Cortland, Cayuga, Oswego, Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Lewis, Herkimer, Oneida, Otsego, Delaware, Chenango, Broome, Tompkins and Seneca; and as far west as State Route 14 in Tioga, Chemung, Wayne, Schuyler and Yates counties.


There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit in each category.


The same story may not be entered twice. It is up to the contestant to decide in which category their submission best belongs.


The fee is $15 per entry submitted by Jan. 24, 2024. After Jan. 24, the cost for professional journalists increases to $20. The student fee remains $15.


Entries must be complete, with all required fields filled out, and attachments or links submitted, at or before 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2024. Incomplete or late entries may be disqualified.


To ensure fairness, the Syracuse Press Club enlists press clubs from across the country to review and judge our contest.