Quality judges waiting for your #SJA2014 entries

If the quality and variety of the entries for the SJA Sports Journalism Awards are as high and as diverse as the range of judges, then we’re in for a real celebration of the best in our business in 2014, writes TOM CLARKE, our chairman of judges

Tom Clarke: chair of judges for the SJA sports writing awards
Tom Clarke: chair of judges for the SJA sports writing awards

The SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, which include categories for photography and broadcasting, are the most respected in our field of journalism – and they’ve been given extra stature this time because of the input of sports editors and heads of sport of every national newspaper.

We asked them if they had recommendations for changes to the awards.

They said they wanted more categories (recognising, in particular, the strength of writing about football, cricket and both rugby codes). They have them – now there are now 14 sports writing categories, including a new award for investigative sports reporting, separate from our awards for sports news reporter and sports scoop. There is also a new category to recognise the best single sports supplement, pull-out or special section produced, online or in print, by a team of reporters, photographers, sub-editors and designers.

All the writing categories can be seen here, with our rules and guidance on how to enter the awards.

The sports editors wanted to be able to submit entries as pdfs, as well as print-outs. They now have that facility (all entrants still have to submit a separate hard-copy form, together with their entry fee). The entry forms and the category list and rules sheets are available below.

The sports editors wanted the panel of judges to better reflect the whole spectrum of sports writing in 2014. They have them – 40 active sports journalists have already agreed to join the panel of judges and I’ve still to hear back from several others. These journalists come from red tops and broadsheets and everything in between, and they include sports editors and reporters.

They join on the panel three former editors of national newspapers, former England football and cricket players and current world champion, and a lively sample of readers who love the back pages.

With that range of judges and the extra categories, we’re expecting a bumper entry and a great night out at the Awards Dinner at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on Monday, March 23.

Entries for the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, sponsored by BT Sport, are now open, with forms having been sent out to national sports desks and SJA members last month. Please note that entry fees for paid-up members of the SJA have been reduced by 40 per cent.



2014 SJA Sports Photography Awards rules and categories


2014 SJA Sports Journalism Awards writing and broadcast rules and categories



Mon Mar 23: SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, sponsored by BT Sport, at the Grand Connaught Rooms. Entry forms now available here

Wed May 13: SJA York Races Day, sponsored by Ladbrokes, at the Dante Festival. Click here to book your places

Mon Sep 14: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill Golf Club