Free Journalism & Student Journalism Awards – The Complete List

The only complete list of free journalism and student journalism awards in the UK and further afield.

We update this list at least once a week, but if something isn’t right, do get in touch. We’ll show awards which are open in green, and ones we know are definitely opening on time in orange. Awards left in black are based on last year’s dates.

We love tip-offs too, so do let us know of any good opportunities!

Don’t forget, you can also find up to date guides of journalism graduate schemes and freelance rates if you need them.

Last updated September 16

Rolling Applications

Journalism Diversity Fund
For those from a minority background to help them break into the media.

George Viner Memorial Fund Bursary
Grants for British Black and Asian students in need of financial assistance who have received a formal offer of a place on a course in print, broadcasting, photographic or online journalism.

September

The National Geographic Traveller Travel Writing CompetitionCloses September 19
Competition for aspiring travel writers to win an eight-night luxury tour of Kenya and the chance to kick-start your travel writing career.

Google News Initiative Startups Lab EuropeCloses September 20
A six-month programme that includes workshops, coaching and networking opportunities for independent news startups in Europe. Access up to €25,000 in grants.

BCTJ AwardsCloses September 30
Open to students on a BCTJ accredited course.

Thomson Foundation Journalism Now ScholarExpected to Re-Open In September 2021
Annual journalism competition dedicated to finding and inspiring ambitious journalists from across the globe. Applicants must submit a portfolio of three stories, with at least one of the pieces having an environmental reporting focus.

The Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize Competition 2020Expected to Re-Open In September 2021
Write a ‘dynamic, authoritative and lively’ essay of no more than 3,500 words and you could win £1,000 alongside having your piece published in The Bodley Head and the FT. 

SIFA Festival Awards –  Expected to Re-Open In September 2022
Submit a social impact film and the winner will receive $500 Canadian and have their film played at the festival.

The Frontline Club Annual AwardsPostponed due to Covid-19, due to reopen September 2022
To recognise established and emerging talent in broadcast, print, and photojournalism.

BBC Radio 4’s Journey of a LifetimeExpected To Re-Open In September 
A £5,000 grant for an aspiring journalist to make the journey of a lifetime and make a radio documentary on it.

TRT World Citizen Film FestivalClosed September 1
Up to $5,000 in prizes for humanitarian films, which explore global themes such as refugees and coronavirus.

Eurasian Creative Guild Awards Closed September 5
Up to $40,000 on offer across various categories, as well as the chance to get your book published in the UK.

Public Interest News Foundation Impact FundClosed September 7
The programme aims to award five grants of £8,000 to new journalism projects which encourage civic or democratic engagement. PINF is currently inviting brief expressions of interest from news publishers in London and Birmingham.

WeAreTechWomen100 AwardsClosed September 10
Although this award focuses on celebrating women in tech, it also applies to technical journalism/production roles. 

Free Press AwardsClosed September 15
Global awards for journalists who go to great lengths to make sure stories are told.

United Nations Correspondents Association AwardClosed September 15
Three categories to award the best of print, broadcast and climate change stories. Prizes amount to $60,000.

October

The British Journalism Awards Marie Colvin AwardCloses October 1
Awarded to a “future Marie Colvin in the making” who raises the reputation of journalism.

The British Journalism Awards Barbara Blake Hannah AwardCloses October 1
An award for a journalist from a non-white ethnic background who entered the awards via the diversity bursary.

The British Journalism Awards (Diversity Bursary Entry)Closes October 1
Free entry to all categories is offered to journalists from a non-white background, those with disabilities and female freelancers.

Audio Content Fund Closes October 4
Funding for independent broadcasting companies registered with Companies house, to support high quality broadcast services for UK commercial and community radio. 

Nan Shepherd PrizeCloses October 6
A prize to recognise unpublished nature writers. The winner will receive a book deal with £10,000 advance and mentoring.

Independent Media Awards Closes October 7
A series of awards highlighting, showcasing and rewarding independent outlets and journalists. Aims to promote and support the independent media sector as a whole.

Young Travel Photographer of the Year 2021Closes October 12
For photographers under 18. Submissions of your best travel images – and winners can receive up to £500.

International Student Travel Video Contest – Closes October 13
Running on the theme of ‘Life after Lockdown’ the winner will be awarded $4000 (£3,127) while the runner-up gets $500 (£391). 

Professional Excellence Prizes for Foreign Journalists Closes October 15
From the Club of Foreign Press Correspondents – for USA-based journalists who work in a range of media formats. Winners will receive an award of excellence and $2,000-$5,000.

International Labour Organisation Global Media CompetitionCloses October 15
$3,000 prize for professional journalists and $1,000 for students on the topic of labour migration.

Megacities Shortdocs  – Closes October 31
People who live in a megacity (including London) are invited to submit a short documentary of up to four minutes, which raises awareness of urban challenges and solutions. The winner will receive a trip to Paris and $1,667.

#Merky Books New Writers’ PrizeExpected To Reopen In October
Are you an unpublished writer aged 16-30? Send your manuscript and you could bag a publishing deal with #Merky Books.

BBC Young Reporter CompetitionExpected To Reopen In October
For 11-18-year-olds who want to tell and report their stories on the BBC.

The Hostwriter Prize – Expected To Re-Open In October
Up to $5,000 for collaborative journalism stories.

November

Write to End Violence Against Women BursaryCloses November 15
A £450 bursary awarded to a new writer on the theme of violence against women.

New Media Writing PrizeCloses November 26
A pretty open call out here, looking for stories and poetry that integrate a variety of formats, platforms, and digital media.

The Allard Prize Photography CompetitionClosed November 1
Win CAND1,000 for photography which focuses on anti-corruption and human rights.

Travel Photographer of the YearClosed November 2
Lots of options here, including a portfolio and video category. Entry for the Young Travel Photographer of the Year is free. 

IJ4EU Impact AwardClosed November 8
Three €5,000 cash prizes available for collaborative, transnational investigations carried out by EU journalist teams. 

Guardian Weekend Magazine and Gal-Dem Memoir Writing CompetitionClosed November 9
If you’re a black woman or black non-binary writer aged 16-21, submit a 700-word personal essay on the theme of ‘conversations’ for a chance to have your work featured in Guardian’s Weekend magazine. 

AIPS Sport Media AwardsClosed November 9
Looking for exceptional writing, photography and audio and video in sports journalism, the top prize is $8,000.  

NCTJ Awards for ExcellenceClosed November 13
Open to trainees and students on an NCTJ course, as well as community reporters.

Philip Meyer Journalism AwardClosed November 15
A contest that recognises the best social research journalism, first place prize is $500, second is $300 and third is $200. 

RTS Student Television AwardsClosed November 20
Open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, including a news and current affairs category.

Publisher Podcast AwardClosed November 27
Open to publishing companies, who publish English content in at least one other medium alongside the podcast. 

UK Picture Editor’s Guild Annual Awards – Expected To Re-Open In November
Free entry to the videographer and student categories.

New Media Writing Prize, Unicorn Student Award – Expected To Re-Open In November 2021
£750 awarded for a student producing original work for digital.

New Media Writing Prize, The Skylab Innovation Award – Expected To Re-Open In November 2021
£500 awarded to the best digital writing on the generator app.

New Media Writing Prize, Journalism Award – Expected To Re-Open In November 2021
£750 awarded for the best writing for digital.

December

Thomson Reuters Foundation Stop Slavery Media AwardCloses December 3
For journalists who have published a story on modern slavery in Thailand, Cambodia, Brazil, Mexico, Bangladesh, or India.

Adamah Media Writer’s Competition – Closed December 31
Up to £200 in prizes for writers under 26 for a piece on a post-COVID world.

European Press Prize – Closed December 11
Four awards available, alongside a ‘special award’, which gift the winners €10,000 for a project that may enrich journalism.

National Spokesperson Network training – Closed December 14
Four half-day training scheme to become an expert in broadcasting. It will take place over Zoom due to Covid-19.

World Teenage Reporting Project – Closed December 15
Profile stories from teenagers in any language can be submitted for these global awards. Winners will be showcased.

Podcasting for Business AwardsClosed December 18
A range of categories for podcasts produced by businesses.

January

The Royal Statistical Society, Statistical Excellence in Journalism Awards – Expected To Re-Open January 2021
To reward excellence in using statistics to question, analyse and investigate the issues that affect society.

Wales Media Awards – Expected To Re-Open In January 2021
A range of awards to recognise achievements in the media in Wales

Thomson Foundation Journalism Now Scholar – Expected To Re-Open In January
Win an all-expenses paid five-week summer course in journalism in London.

IAFOR Documentary Photography Award – Expected To Re-Open In January
Win up to £1,000 for images which explore the theme of ‘Reclaiming the Future’. Under 30s only.

IRN Awards for News Radio – Expected To Re-Open In January
Student category for best news or sport is open to all.

Stylist Remarkable Women Awards – Expected To Re-Open In January
Celebrating the achievements of women in the UK

Ian Bell Award – Closed January 10
£500 prize for under 30s living, working or studying in Scotland

World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest – Closed January 12
The winners of Photo of the Year and Photo Story of the Year will receive €5,000. 

The Sony World Photography Awards – Closed January 14
For a chance to win photographer of the year and $25,000, you can enter multiple works into their documentary category.

Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils – Closed January 21
Awarded for coverage of an issue which enhances public understanding of a social issue.

Amnesty Media Awards – Closed January 21
In its 29th year of celebrating Human Rights, Amnesty Awards are open to UK journalists across various mediums.

The CIVIS Media Prize – Closed January 21
Up to $15,000 awards for work focused on migration, integration, diversity, and democratic culture.

Student Publication Association Regional Awards –Closed January 22
Regional awards for members of a student publication in the UK or Ireland.

Health for All Film Festival – Closed January 30
Open to short films, social video and animations across categories of universal health coverage, health emergencies and better health and well-being. The winner in each category will get $10,000. Up to three runners up will receive $5,000.

The Hillman Prizes – Closed January 30
Prizes of $5,000 for investigative journalism, which must have been widely accessible to a US audience.

TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting: Uncovering Commercial Bribery – Closed January 31
These two $10,000 prizes recognise journalism that uncovers business-related bribery and financial crime.

Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Awards – Expected To Re-Open In February 2021
A €2,500 prize for the best reporting in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. 

The Hugo Young Award – Expected To Re-Open In February 2021
A scheme by the Guardian to encourage fresh new writing in political journalism from postgraduate students. £500 in cash and a chance to shadow a lobby reporter.

The Hugh Cudlipp AwardExpected To Re-Open In February 2021
Award for student journalists and recent graduates for high quality journalism, with prizes of up to £1,000.

UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom PrizeExpected To Re-Open In February 2021
Up to $25,000 for journalists or organisations making a significant contribution to press freedom, especially in high risk areas.

NaSTA Student TV AwardsExpected To Re-Open In February 2021
Annual TV awards for young people part of a NaST affiliated station. 

Cassandra Jardine Memorial Prize – Expected To Re-open in February
Up to £1,000 for a woman under 25, awarded for a feature article.

The Sigma Awards for Data Journalism – Closed February 1
To reward exceptional data journalism across several categories, winning $5,000 and speaking opportunities in our online events.

Association of British Science Writers -Closed February 1
Free to enter for ABSW members, with prizes of up to £1,000 for winners.

Dr Katherine Giles Award For The Best Popular Article By A Scientist Or Engineer – Closed February 1
Part of the ABSW awards and comes with a £600 prize for the winner. Free to enter.

RPS Young Classical Writers Prize – Closed February 2
A grand prize of £1,000 for outstanding writing on classical music. This is open to anyone aged 16-25. 

Whickers Film & TV Funding Award – Closed February 7
Funding of £80,000 and £15,000 for emerging filmmakers to direct a non-fiction film of 50 minutes or more. 

UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize – Closed February 15
A $25,000 award for journalists, organizations or institutions producing work which that promotes press freedom worldwide. 

Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award – Closed February 17
Win $12,500 plus research privileges and office space in New York.

Northern Writers’ Awards – Closed February 18
Win a book deal and professional development, with advances and bursaries of £2-5,000 on offer.

ICFJ Knight International Journalism Award – Closed February 21
Award for pioneering coverage or media innovation, with prizes of up to $10,000.

The Wincott Awards – Closed February 26
Under 28s can win £1,000 for work on business, economics and finance. Entries are open for seven different awards. 

March

The Georgina Henry Award for Digital Innovation – Closed March 1
A £4,000 prize for innovative and impactful journalism, in honour of the late Guardian Deputy Editor, Georgina Henry. 

Big Picture – Emerging Photographer Grant – Closed March 1
A call for photographers aged 18-25 to explore conservation, biodiversity and sustainability. There are two $2,500 grants available.

The Printing Charity Rising Stars – Closed March 8
Funding of up to £1500 to go towards training or equipment that will help your career progress. 

Association of European Journalists Louise Weiss Prize  – Closed March 8
Up to €1,500 for journalism which covers European affairs in French. 

WeAreTheCity Rising Stars – Closed March 8
Recognising 100 talented women across all industries, who are below senior or management level. 

UN Women Cartoon and Comic CompetitionClosed March 14
Cash prizes for cartoonists aged 18 to 28 who picturise their vision of what a gender equal generation looks like. 

Statistical Excellence in Journalism Award – Closed March 22
Four awards that recognise the value of using statistics in journalism. 

UN-Habitat Photo Contest – Closes March 31
A photo contest calling for images of urban life, the connection between city and rural life and the communities in them. 

InterAction Photography ContestExpected to Re-Open in March
Prizes of up to $1,000 for powerful humanitarian photography. 

April

The Private Eye Paul Foot Award  – Closed April 1
£5,000 award to a journalist, group of journalists or publication for investigative and campaigning journalism.

Substack Independent Writer Grant Program – Closed April 7
Grants of $500 to $5,000 to support independent writers who are affected by the Coronavirus outbreak

MHP 30 to Watch Under 30 – Young Journalists – Closed April 8
To recognise young people, working full-time in the media from a diverse range of backgrounds.

SPA Awards for Student Journalism – Closed April 14
Annual student journalism awards for young people part of a SPA affiliated publication.

Reporteurs d’Espoirs European Young Reporter Awards – Closed April 15
With a cash prize of €3,000, journalists aged 18-30 can submit their solutions-driven stories.

Global Youth and News Media Award – Closed April 15
Awards for journalism which is made for young audiences. This year, reporting must be related to the pandemic. 

WiJ Women In Local News Awards – Closed April 15
There are a bunch of categories to enter for this award, which celebrate women working in local news during the pandemic. 

AGU’s Science Journalism Awards – Closed April 15
Multiple awards for outstanding science news reporting and science feature writing. Nominations are open now. 

Index On Censorship Fellowship – Closed April 16
Winners receive 12 months of capacity building, coaching and strategic support.

Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize –  Closed April 18
Awards of $10,803 for excellent reporting on sustainable development, democracy and human rights around the world.

Kent Press & Broadcast AwardsClosed April 24
15 categories for journalism produced by individuals and websites in Kent.

Kent Press & Broadcast AwardsCloses April 24
15 categories for journalism produced by individuals and websites in Kent.

Creative Access & Getty Images Photojournalism Scholarship – Closes April 27 
Students from a BAME background can win around £8000 to go toward training, equipment or education for a career in photojournalism. 

One Young World Journalist of the Year – Closed April 30
Highlighting the work of five promising young journalists between the ages of 18 to 35 from around the world

Mary Mulvihill Award – Closed April 30
Awards €2,000 to a student at a HE institution in Ireland for work about science and industry. This years theme is ‘Virus’. 

Washington Post Stern FellowshipPostponed Due to Covid-19
A three-month fellowship for experienced journalists at the Washington Post

Theatre Photograph of the Year – On Pause Due to Covid
Cash prizes for amateur and professional photographers alike who have snapped gorgeous images of their favourite theatre. 

John Schofield Trust Mentoring Scheme – Re-Opening in 2022
Mentoring scheme for young journalists working in TV and film

May

The Allard Prize Photography Competition – Closed May 1
Win CAND1,000 for photography which focuses on anti-corruption and human rights.

Global Peace Photo Award –  Closed May 24
Formerly known as The Alfred Fried Photography Award, photographers can win €10,000 for work showcasing human efforts for a peaceful world.

We Art Water Film Festival – Expected to Re-Open in May
Up to €3,000 in prizes for documentaries focused on water problems around the globe.

AA Gill Award for Unpublished Food WritersExpected to Re-Open in May
In honour of the legendary AA Gill, winners will receive £5,000 and their work will be published.

Big Picture – Emerging Photographer Grant – Expected to Re-Open in May
A call for photographers aged 18-25 to explore conservation, biodiversity and sustainability. There are two $2,500 grants available. 

IPSE Freelancer of the Year Awards – Expected to Re-Open in May
Up to £5,000 prize for an individual or organisations freelancing or supporting the sector.

National Geographic Travel Writing CompetitionExpected to Re-Open in May.
Write 500 words on a standout travel experience for the chance to get published in NatGeo and win a trip across Vietnam.

Anthony Howard Political Prize – Expected To Reopen In May
Win a £25,000 prize and placements at the New Statesman, The Observer and The Times.

Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism – Closed May 31
$5,000 prizes for international journalists who report on conflict, human rights, or cross-border issues.

June

Journalists’ Charity Charles Dicken’s Competition – Expected to Re-Open in June
Create a character that could have stepped straight out of a Dicken’s novel into the 21st Century and the money raised will go to journalists affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

GG2 Leadership Awards, Young Journalist of the YearExpected to Re-Open in June
Rewarding excellence in black, Asian and ethnic minority communities. Under 30s only.

Coronavirus Reporting Award 2020Expected to Re-Open June 
One World Media are celebrating outstanding reporting around Coronavirus this year. They are interested especially in coverage relating to the developing world and the piece in question can be print, film, audio, or digital media.

IPG Independent Publishing Awards – Expected to Re-Open in June
12 different awards to recognise the achievements of independent publishers in the UK and Ireland. 

Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award – Closed June 4
The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award recognises women professional photographers documenting important social, environmental, economic or cultural issues. One overall winner will receive £2,000 towards an ongoing project and one runner up will receive £500.

Bayeux Calvados-Normandy award for war correspondents – Closed June 7
€7,000 prizes for radio, photography, television reporting about a conflict situation, or the defence of freedom

Freelance Writing Awards – Closed June 8
Created by freelancers, this award celebrates the talent of UK freelancers in the journalism industry who do not have support from a media company. Numerous prizes on offer, including mentorship and trophies.

International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) Photo Contest – Closed June 14
Submit 12 examples of your photojournalism to show the range of your work. Prize money of $20,000.

Goi Peace Foundation’s International Essay Contest for Young People – Closed June 15
Write an essay to your present self from 2030 and you could win US$900 and attend the award ceremony in Tokyo.

Netflix The Screenwriter’s Fellowship – Closed June 18
Bursary of up to £22,568 for underrepresented writers to create a spec script for an original idea over the course of a year, as well as access to monthly development events and workshops.  Includes a paid placement in a Netflix/Sky writers room, and a newsroom.

DIG Awards, Video and Audio Category – Closed June 21
An award rewarding excellence in investigative reporting, giving filmmakers and audio storytellers the chance to shine. Winners of the competition will be given a chance to win a EUR15,000 to finish their project.

ConnectHER Film FestivalClosed June 22
$5,000 prizes for students under 25 who submit a film on global women’s issues.

PPA 30 Under 30 Student of the Year – Closed June 28
Open to current journalism students or recent graduates.

Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for Young Science Journalist  Closed June 30
$1,000 and expenses paid trip to ScienceWriters2021. Must be under 30, producing print/online science journalism.

July

Mind Media AwardsExpected To Re-Open In July
Awarded to an individual or group who have covered mental health topics.

FIPP Rising Stars in MediaExpected To Re-Open In July
For under 35s who have made a significant impact on a media business in the last 12 months.

PLURAL+ UN Video Competition  – Closed July 5
Submit a video on migration, diversity or social inclusion for the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival and you could be flown out to collect the award.

Ian Parry Scholarship – Closed July 9
Two awards of US$3,500 to help young photographers and photography students undertake a documentary project.

#Youth4Regions – Closed July 12
Travel and expenses covered for several EU press trips across 2021 for young students or journalists.

IPG Independent Publishing Awards – Closed July 13
Twelve awards on offer for independent publishing organisations hoping to open up new opportunities and raises their profile in the industry.

DIG Awards, Pitch Category – Closed July 15
An award rewarding excellence in investigative reporting, giving filmmakers and audio storytellers the chance to shine. Winners of the competition will be given a chance to win a EUR15,000 to finish their project.

UK Social Enterprise Awards 2021 – Closed July 16
Fifteen awards launched to celebrate the contributions made by social enterprises addressing issues around diversity, inclusion, equity and justice.

W&A Working-Class Writers’ Prize – Closed July 16
Open to working-class writers writing in all genres. Winners will receive a £200 cash prize, a mentoring session with judge and author Paul Mendez, access to a number of W&A writing and publishing events, and writing guide bundles.

SRA Student Radio AwardsClosed July 16
Student Radio Awards for those involved with an SRA affiliated station.

August

Rory Peck Award – Closed August 4, 2021
Four categories to enter here, to celebrate outstanding work produced by freelance journalists and filmmakers worldwide.

MY World 360˚ – Closed August 5, 2021
Immersive media creators are invited stories exploring Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a variety of media methods. Winners will have their stories shared at the UN General Assembly, and will access mentoring and sharing opportunities.

IPSE Freelancer Awards 2021– Closed August 13, 2021
Multiple nationally-recognised awards covering a variety of categories, including: the Outstanding Freelancer Award, the Young Freelancer Award, the Freelancing Project Award, amongst others. Designed to recognise and celebrate innovation and excellence within the UK freelance community.

AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards – Closed August 1, 2021
An award recognising excellence in science, engineering and mathematics. Open to journalists across the globe who foster a better public understanding of science through content. Awards up to $5,000 USD.

Fetisov Journalism Awards – Closed August 1, 2021
Organised by a Russian philanthropist called Gleb Fetisov, journalists can win up to $10,400 USD for their coverage on peace, civil rights, investigative reporting and environmental journalism.

Watch Docs Human Rights in Film International FestivalClosed August 15, 2021
A free to enter, open invite for worldwide documentarians to submit films centred on human rights issues. Submissions in English or Polish with English subtitles.

The Power Up Boost for Small BusinessesClosed August 15, 2021
Aimed at up and coming or established small businesses in need of funding, support and guidance to develop.

NewsAwards 2021 – Closed August 16, 2021
Celebrating the best in news media print, technology and business innovation.

Asian Media Awards – Closed August 19, 2021
Dedicated to recognising Asian journalists across the media, who highlight race relations and human rights issues. 

The Radio Academy 30 Under 30Closed August 31
An annual competition for the 30 best young talents in radio and audio.

 

Other Schemes

There are a number of other schemes we are aware have run in the past but we are unable to provide details of when or if they will re-open at present. We will provide new information as soon as it becomes available.

These schemes are:

  • UK Blog Awards
  • BBC Radio 4 Today Programme Student Journalism Awards
  • Column Idol (The Sun)
  • Guardian Student Media Awards
  • Magazine Academy Awards
  • Words by Women Awards
  • Wyn Harness Prize (The Independent)
  • Travelex Best New Travel Writer
  • Sensora Music Journalism Bursary
  • David Welch Sports Award
  • CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year Award
  • The Comment Awards
  • AITO Travel Writer of the Year