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 November 27

Rolling Applications

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


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

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

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

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

European Press Prize – Expected To Re-Open In December
Four prizes for excellence in journalism for Council of Europe Member States. €10,000 prize.


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

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

Health for All Film FestivalCloses 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.

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

EU #Youth4Regions Press Trips – Closed January 6
Travel and expenses covered for several EU press trips across 2020 for young students or journalists.

Orwell Prize for Journalism – Closed January 13
Awarded for sustained reportage or coverage across the year in any medium

Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils – Closed January 13
Awarded for coverage of an issue which enhances public understanding of a social issue

IRN Awards for News Radio – January 14 (Most Awards), Closed January 21 (Student Award)
Student category for best news or sport is open to all.

Stylist Remarkable Women Awards – Closed January 19
Celebrating the achievements of women in the UK

Girls Impact The World Film Festival – Closed January 20
$5,000 prizes for students under 25 who submit a film on global women’s issues.

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

Amnesty Media Awards – Closed January 23
Free to enter the student reporter of the year category, with bursaries for other categories.

The Royal Statistical Society, Statistical Excellence in Journalism Awards – Closed January 24
To reward excellence in using statistics to question, analyse and investigate the issues that affect society.

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

TRACE International Prize for Investigative Reporting Closed January 31
Up to $10,000 for stories reporting on bribery and financial crime.

Association of British Science Writers – Closes January 31
Student Science Journalist of the Year Category offering £200 Prize

NewsAwards 2020Closes January 31
Celebrating the best in news media print, technology and business innovation.


Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Awards – Closed February 28
A €2,500 prize for the best reporting in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. 

The Hugo Young Award – Closed February 7
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 Sigma Awards for Data JournalismClosed February 3
To reward exceptional data journalism across several categories, winning an all-expenses-covered trip to the International Journalism Festival in Perugia.

The Hugh Cudlipp AwardClosed February 14
Award for student journalists and recent graduates for high quality journalism, with prizes of up to £1,000.

The Wincott AwardsClosed February 14
Under 28s can win £1,000 for work on business, economics and finance.

UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom PrizeClosed February 15
Up to $25,000 for journalists or organisations making a significant contribution to press freedom, especially in high risk areas.

Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award – Closed February 19
Win $12,500 plus research privileges and office space in New York.

Rupert Cornwell Award for Foreign Reporting – Closed February 21
£5,000 for a reporting project in North America, Europe or the old Soviet Union

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

NaSTA Student TV AwardsClosed February 23
Annual TV awards for young people part of a NaSTA affiliated station. 

BBC Arabic Young Journalist Award – Expected to Re-Open in February
Given to a non-fiction filmmaker or digital journalist between 18-30 

Sarah Corp Fellowship – Expected To Re-Open In February
A year-long programme in memory of the Channel 4 journalist. Spend six months at the Channel 4 foreign desk in London, and six months in their Washington DC Bureau.

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

New Economy Spokesperson Training Scheme – Expected to Re-Open in February
Two-day training scheme to become an on-air expert


SPA Awards for Student Journalism – Closed March 1
Annual student journalism awards for young people part of a SPA affiliated publication.

IPG Independent Publishing Awards – Closed March 5
12 different awards to recognise the achievements of independent publishers in the UK and Ireland. 

WeAreTheCity Rising Stars – Closed March 8
Recognising the top 100 women across all industries, with professional development rewards.

InterAction Photography Contest – Closed March 11
Prizes of up to $1,000 for powerful humanitarian photography. 

Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize –  Closed March 15
Awards of $10,803 for excellent reporting on sustainable development, democracy and human rights around the world.

AGU’s Science Journalism Awards –  Closed March 15
Nominations are open for awards in science news reporting and science feature writing. 

Washington Post Stern FellowshipClosed March 27
A three-month fellowship for experienced journalists at the Washington Post

Theatre Photograph of the Year – Closed March 30
Cash prizes for amateur and professional photographers alike who have snapped gorgeous images of their favourite theatre. 

Mary Mulvihill AwardClosed March 31
Awards €2,000 to a student at a HE institution in Ireland for work about science and industry.

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

Mencap Student Journalism Awards – Expected to Re-Open in March
For young journalists raising issues surrounding learning disabilities.

The Football Blogging Awards – Expected to Re-Open in March
To reward the best football bloggers across various categories.

Scottish Student Journalism Awards – Expected to Re-Open in March
Annual awards for student journalists in Scotland.

John Schofield Trust Mentoring Scheme – Expected to Re-Open in March
Mentoring scheme for young journalists working in TV and film


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

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

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

Print Futures Awards & Scholars – Closes April 26
A grant of up to £1,500 for apprentices, workers or students aged 18-30 to support training in printing or publishing.

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. 

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

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

Anthony Howard Political Prize – Suspended to 2021
Win a £25,000 prize and placements at the New Statesman, The Observer and The Times.


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

We Art Water Film Festival – Closed May 6
Up to €3,000 in prizes for documentaries focused on water problems around the globe.

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.

AA Gill Award for Unpublished Food WritersClosed May 26
In honour of the legendary AA Gill, winners will receive £5,000 and their work will be published.

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 

Big Picture – Emerging Photographer Grant – Closed May 31 
A call for photographers aged 18-25 to explore conservation, biodiversity and sustainability. There are two $2,500 grants available. 


Journalists’ Charity Charles Dicken’s Competition – Closed June 9
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. 

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 attended the award ceremony in Tokyo

Bayeux Calvados-Normandy award for war correspondents – Closed June 15
€7,000 prizes for radio, photography, television reporting about a conflict situation, or the defence of freedom

MHP + Mischief 30 To Watch: Young Journalist Awards 2020 – Closed June 18
There are eight thematic categories available for UK journalists under 30 to apply for, from news to tech to social media

PLURAL+ UN video competition  – Closed June 19
Submit a video on migration, diversity or social inclusion for the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival and you could be flown out to Morocco to collect the award.

GG2 Leadership Awards, Young Journalist of the YearClosed June 26
Rewarding excellence in black, Asian and ethnic minority communities. Under 30s only.

Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for Young Science Journalist – Closed June 26
$1,000 and expenses paid trip to ScienceWriters2020 in Colorado. Must be under 30, producing print/online science journalism

National Geographic Travel Writing CompetitionClosed June 30
Write 500 words on a standout travel experience for the chance to get published in NatGeo and win a trip across Vietnam.


PPA 30 Under 30 Student of the Year – Closed July 3
Open to current journalism students or recent graduates

Ian Parry Scholarship – Closed July 5 
Two awards of US$3,500 to help young photographers and photography students undertake a documentary project.

Coronavirus Reporting Award 2020Closed July 30
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.

Mind Media Awards – **Postponed until 2021**
Awarded to an individual or group who have covered mental health topics.


AAAS Science Journalism Awards – Closed August 1 
Celebrating professional reporting worldwide in science, engineering, and mathematics, with a top prize of $5,000. 

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

Free Press AwardsClosed August 1 
Global awards for journalists who go to great lengths to make sure stories are told.

The Radio Academy 30 Under 30Closed August 1 
An annual competition for the 30 best young talents in radio and audio.

FIPP Rising Stars in Media – Closed August 7
For under 35s who have made a significant impact on a media business in the last 12 months.

Rory Peck AwardClosed August 10
Four categories to enter here, to celebrate outstanding work produced by freelance journalists and filmmakers worldwide.

Megacities Shortdocs  – Closed August 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.

MY World 360˚ – Closed August 31
For ‘access to mentoring and sharing opportunities’, MY World 360˚ are looking for multimedia stories about people making a difference in the face of COVID-19 and creative visions for a better world.

TRT World Citizen visual contest – Closed August 31
A call out for cartoons, illustrations and photos which highlight key workers at the front-line of the pandemic.

SRA Student Radio AwardsClosed August 31
Student Radio Awards for those involved with an SRA affiliated station.

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme Student Journalism Awards – Expected to Re-Open In August
To recognise established and emerging talent in broadcast, print, and photojournalism.

Asian Media AwardsClosed August 21
Dedicated to recognising Asian journalists across the media, who highlight race relations and human rights issues. 


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.

WeAreTechWomen100 AwardsClosed September 11
Although this award focuses on celebrating women in tech, it also applies to technical journalism/production roles. 

UNECE Humans Locked DownClosed September 15
Recognising the best pictures taken throughout lockdown to show the power of nature around the world.

WeAreTechWomen TechWomen100Closed September 20
Awards recognising the top 100 women, not in leadership roles working in the tech industry.

The Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize Competition 2020Closed September 24
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. 

Y20’s Youth Priorities InitiativeClosed September 26
If you’re a videomaker aged 18 to 35, make a video telling world leaders what they need to support the youth. Winners will be invited to the Y20 Summit on October 12 to 18. 

SIFA Festival Awards –  Closed September 30
Submit a social impact film and the winner will receive $500 Canadian and have their film played at the festival.

The British Journalism Awards Marie Colvin AwardClosed September 30
Awarded to a “future Marie Colvin in the making” who raises the reputation of journalism.

PressGazette AwardClosed September 30
Open to all but free to enter if you’re a woman, a person of colour, or disabled and don’t have a newsroom behind you who will put the entry in for you. 

The Frontline Club Annual AwardsExpected To Re-Open In September
To recognise established and emerging talent in broadcast, print, and photojournalism.

Nan Shepherd Prize – Expected To Re-Open In 2021
A prize to recognise unpublished nature writers. The winner will receive a book deal with £10,000 advance and mentoring.

United Nations Correspondents Association Award – Expected To Re-Open In September
Three categories to award the best of print, broadcast and climate change stories. Prizes amount to $60,000.

Write to End Violence Against Women Bursary – Expected To Re-Open In September
A £450 bursary awarded to a new writer on the theme of violence against women.

International Labour Organisation Global Media Competition – Expected To Re-Open In September
$3,000 prize for professional journalists and $1,000 for students on the topic of labour migration.


BCTJ AwardsClosed October 1
Open to students on a BCTJ accredited course.

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

International Student Travel Video ContestClosed 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). 

Thomson Reuters Foundation COVID: The Bigger Picture AwardClosed October 28
An award for the best photo-journalism of the COVID-19 pandemic to date.

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

BBC Young Reporter CompetitionClosed October 31
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.

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

The Philip Meyer Award – Expected To Re-Open In October
Up to $500 for stories which use precision journalism, computer-assisted reporting and social science research.

Ian Bell Award – Expected To Re-Open In October
£500 prize for under 30s living, working or studying in Scotland


New Media Writing PrizeClosed November 27
A pretty open call out here, looking for stories and poetry that integrate a variety of formats, platforms, and digital media.

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

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.

Student Publication Association Regional Awards – Expected To Re-Open In November
Regional awards for members of a student publication in the UK or Ireland.

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

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

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

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
  • 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