Excellence in journalism

For the past 38 years, the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has selected from among the Bay Area’s best of the best for its acclaimed Excellence in Journalism Awards. These awards honor the journalists whose work best reflects the SPJ ideals of initiative, integrity, talent and compassion.

The 2023 contest is open!
DEADLINE: Friday, Sept. 29, 2023

** This year's Excellence in Journalism Awards ceremony will once again be held in person in mid-November. Details to come! **

If you are having trouble uploading links, try changing them to http (instead of https).

If you are having trouble uploading files, email them to spj.excellenceinjournalism@gmail.com with the name of the contest category and submit your entry in the system.

PAYMENT PROCESS: You have two payment options — all of which require that you select “pay by check” to submit your entries. Please choose one of the following:

a) Pay by check
  • Select “pay by check” and submit your entries.
  • Send a check for the full amount to: SPJ NorCal, 44 Page St., Suite 504, San Francisco, CA 94102
b) Pay online via PayPal
  • Select “pay by check” and submit your entries.
  • Use PayPal to send the amount you owe to treas.spjnorcal@gmail.com.


How the Awards Work

Stories must have been published between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, by a news outlet or individuals based in Northern California. Each entrant may submit one entry per category, with a few exceptions. Multiple entries: Only stories or projects entered in the Public Service, Best Scoop or Outstanding Emerging Journalist categories may also be entered in one other category. Important: Entries will not be considered until payment has been received. Also: You must respond to the question regarding audience size.

In addition to presenting the judged category awards, SPJ NorCal also confers a number of special awards selected by the chapter's board of directors. There is no fee to nominate candidates for Board Awards. A nomination letter is required; also see online instructions. The six special Board of Directors Awards are: Journalist of the Year, Career Achievement, Distinguished Service, Unsung Hero, Meritorious SPJ Service and the Silver Heart.

Enter Our Awards Now! Sign Up Here

* To be eligible for the $30 entry fee, you must be a member of both the SPJ national organization AND the Northern California chapter. Membership is good for 12 months. Chapter membership entitles you to free or reduced member admission to NorCal chapter activities, including the Excellence in Journalism Awards dinner. To join SPJ and the NorCal chapter, go to: www.spj.org/join.asp.

Watch a sample video demo of the registration and entry process. Note: You will not be able to join the SPJ national organization from this site.