Missoula, Montana — It’s important to recognize and support students and young professionals in the field of outdoor communications who help shape the future of recreation, conservation, and communication. Each year the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) proudly supports and encourages young creators and budding outdoorists to follow their passions and develop their craft through fellowships and grants.
OWAA seeks to support and educate all outdoor communicators no matter their background or experience level — and has contests, programs, and scholarships designed to do so. Through the Norm Strung Youth Writing Awards and the OWAA Student Photo Contest, OWAA rewards budding writers and photographers who capture the outdoors.
According to OWAA Education Committee Chair Emily Stone, “Not only do these contests allow us to reward up-and-coming outdoor communicators, it also gives our membership a window into the minds of young people, and hope for the future of outdoor writing and photography.”
In order to reach as many outdoor communicators as possible, OWAA promotes the program to teachers and professors around North America. In particular, the organization has reached out to appropriate department heads and professors at historically Black colleges and universities as well as Native American colleges to help inspire students of color to become outdoor communicators.
The contests are open to applications from juniors and seniors in high school and undergraduates in college. Entries for both awards may be submitted beginning September 1 and must be submitted by January 31.
Entries for the Norm Strung Youth Writing Awards may be submitted at:
Student Photo Contest entries may be submitted at https://owaa.submittable.com/submit/181118/owaa-student-photo-contest.
Cash prizes are awarded to first-, second-, and third-place winners in both categories (1st – $200; 2nd – $100; 3rd – $50) (high school seniors and juniors, and college students). Entries must have been created during 2021. Entries are judged by a panel of outdoor media professionals.
Each winner will also receive a yearlong OWAA Student Membership ($25 value), have their name included in a nationally distributed press release, and have their story/photo included in OWAA’s magazine Outdoors Unlimited. OWAA will announce the winners by May 31. OWAA reserves the right to reprint the winning entries and photographs of authors in its publications, on its website, and on its social media accounts.
Winners of the contest will be given additional consideration when applying for the Bodie McDowell Scholarship and are highly encouraged to do so.
Follow this link to the OWAA website for more information.
OWAA is experiencing a renaissance, with a renewed focus on the outdoor industry and human powered outdoor sports, in addition to its broader focus on helping elevate and connect all media in the outdoors, from the hunt and fish markets to bike, ski, trail, overlanding, paddling, and more. Currently the non-profit has 699 media members and over 100 corporate partners, with big plans for growth this year.
Recognized as “The Voice of the Outdoors,” OWAA is the nation’s largest organization of professional outdoor journalists. Its membership includes writers, photographers, videographers, radio and TV personalities, digital storytellers and artists. Formed in 1927, the nonprofit association’s mission is to improve the professional skills and opportunities of its members, set the highest ethical and communications standards, encourage public enjoyment and conservation of natural resources, and mentor the next generation of professional outdoor communicators. For more information, visit https://owaa.org/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact:
Scott Kaier, Public Relations Director