Excellence In Journalism Awards

The submission window for the 2025 Awards will open in early 2025.

The NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists Excellence in Journalism Awards were established in 1993 to foster and recognize excellence in journalism on issues related to the LGBTQ+ community. The Excellence in Journalism Awards are open to anyone, including non-members and journalists who do not identify as LGBTQ+. Work will be evaluated for the 2024 NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists Excellence in Journalism Awards in the following categories:

Award Categories 

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  • January: Nominations open on January 3
  • February: Early Bird pricing ends and submission prices increase on February 16
  • April: Nominations close on April 1
  • April through June: Judges deliberate
  • End of June: Recipients are notified
  • Mid-July: Recipients are announced publically
  • September: Recipients can accept their awards in person at the National Convention 
Submission Rates
  • Members: Early Bird – $25, Regular – $50
  • Nonmembers: Early Bird – $75, Regular – $100

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  • The 2024 Excellence in Journalism Awards plaques will be presented throughout the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists National Convention September 5-8 in Los Angeles. 
General Rules and Requirements
  • The 2024 awards recognize work produced in 2023. Initial publication/broadcast must have occurred between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023.
  • NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists national officers and directors and those individuals directly involved in the administration and/or selection of the awards are ineligible.
  • Contestants may enter as many categories as desired, and may submit as many entries per category as desired. Each entry requires a separate entry fee.
  • Entries must be accompanied by the correct entry fee. Entries will not be processed and submitted to the judges until payment is received. There is no entry fee for student members entering the student journalism category and a reduced rate of $15 for non-member students.
  • Each entry may carry up to five (5) individuals’ names, except in the Journalist of the Year Award category and the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for LGBTQ+ Journalist of the Year category. These categories recognize the accomplishments of an individual journalist.
  • Please ensure that the name of each entrant is spelled correctly as they should appear on certificates, press releases, etc.
  • Entries for each category must be submitted electronically. Exceptions may be made based on individual circumstances, please contact awards@nlgja.org for details. Print/online work may be submitted as a URL or as a PDF document. Broadcast categories may be submitted as a URL or uploaded file.
  • If exceptions are made, all materials for the application submitted by mail require five (5) copies. Please label each copy with your name, phone number and e-mail address and form reference number.
  • Entries may be accompanied by a cover letter of no more than 250 words explaining the context, journalistic merit or impact of the submission. Please submit electronically through the application.
  • If your entry is behind a paywall or requires a subscription, you must include the password/login credentials in the cover letter. Those who do not provide credentials will not be judged. Entrants will not be notified of such disqualification nor will entry fees be refunded.
  • Judges have the right to disqualify entries that do not conform to the contest guidelines or that do not meet the deadline. Entrants will not be notified of such disqualification nor will entry fees be refunded.
  • Judges have the right to transfer entries from one category to another based on their reading of the contest guidelines. Entrants will not be notified of such a transfer prior to the announcement of awards.
  • Judges have the right to withhold an award if they determine that no entries merit recognition.
  • Entries and accompanying materials submitted electronically or by mail will not be returned.
Frequently Asked Questions

How does NLGJA’s Code of Conduct pertain to awards?

All NLGJA Awards applicants and judges are obligated to adhere to NLGJA’s Code of Conduct.

NLGJA will not tolerate ANY form of harassment, coercion, intimidation, bullying, threats, bribery, or any other pressure tactics aimed at awards judges, volunteers, board members or staff at any stage of the awards process, encompassing attempts to sway the outcome of a decision.

Any such conduct should be reported to NLGJA staff and/or the governing board. Offenders may face suspension or permanent disqualification from future awards consideration.

Conflicts must be submitted in writing to awards@nlgja.org. NLGJA Awards leadership, board members, and staff will assess and determine the most fitting course of action on a case-by-case basis.

What occurs with the submission once it’s entered?

All submitted work and accompanying materials are non-returnable. All work submitted becomes the property of NLGJA and may be erased after winners are chosen, utilized for promotional materials for the organization, including publications and the website, or stored in NLGJA’s archives for potential use. Occasionally, media organizations may request NLGJA to share a member’s photos or work. NLGJA will agree to this at its discretion unless explicitly declined by the entrant in writing.

Do winners receive any additional benefits or covered expenses, such as convention registration, airfare, or hotel accommodations?

No. Winners are responsible for their own registration, travel, lodging, and all other convention-related expenses. However, winners gain public recognition in the media and through various channels, including social media, for their achievement. They are also acknowledged during the association’s annual convention

Winners will be notified before the early registration rate deadline to seize this opportunity. Awardees will receive a trophy (one per category), and if the recipient cannot accept the award in person at the convention, NLGJA will cover the shipping expenses for the trophy.

Can NLGJA later rescind an award?

Yes. NLGJA retains the right to revoke any award upon discovering journalistic misconduct, Code of Conduct breaches, NLGJA Awards policy violations, or other malfeasance.

Judging of Entries

All NLGJA members in good standing can volunteer to judge the Excellence In Journalism Awards as a judge. All judges must agree to NLGJA’s Code of Conduct.

The pool of volunteer judges for each award will rate each submission on a number of factors including: Content, Creativity and Execution. Judges can expect the following:


  • Review approximately 25-30 entries
  • Provide comments and scores to entries based on the guidelines provided


  • Must have a passion for and professional experience in journalism
  • Must be able to commit 10-15 hours to review entries during April/June

If interested in serving as a judge, please email awards@nlgja.org.