Hard copies of the forms have also been despatched to all SJA members, together with their winter edition of the SJA Bulletin.
The SJA’s British Sports Journalism Awards, established over more than 30 years, seek to recognise the great sports writing, stories and photographs, thus enhancing the status of sports journalists.
The leading contenders from 2010 are to be honoured at the Association’s gala awards dinner to be staged in London on March 7.
This year, a prestigious award for Sports Newspaper of the Year will be launched alongside our established prizes for Sports Writer, Photographer, Broadcaster and Cartoonist of the year.
There are a number of significant changes to entry procedures for writers and photographers this year, and we encourage all potential applicants to read carefully the application requirements for their relevant categories, as well as the FAQs form which is also available.
Jon Ryan, the former sports editor of the Sunday Telegraph, has assumed the onerous role as chairman of judges of the sports writing categories this year, while David Jacobs continues his invaluable work as chairman of judges for the photography awards.
The SJA began a thorough-going review of its awards and the categories, beginning with consultation of national sports editors, last April.
Ryan says, “Views are as varied as the range of journalists who will enter – which is exactly as it should be.
“But two points came across loud and clear: the need for an award to the Sports Newspaper of the Year and the application of more imagination over the submission of entries.
“Why should a writer working for the internet not be considered for any of the writing awards? Top-quality writing is to be admired and praised wherever it appears and there is hardly a writer from ‘old Fleet Street’ who does not top up his output via Twitter, a blog or a separate piece online.
“Newspaper journalists are wonderfully old-fashioned. Even while they campaign for change, some stalwartly believe that if words do not appear in print they are not worth the reading.”
Ryan wants to encourage writers from the whole of the UK, whether working on a local weekly newspaper or a specialist sports blog, to consider entering all the categories on offer, whether as “specialists”, “columnists” or “interviewers”, instead of consigning themselves strictly to their obvious regional or internet sports writer categories.
“Who says that ‘Fleet Street’ has the monopoly on top writers? Why should talented journalists working outside London not be recognised for the quality of their writing, no matter in what medium?” Ryan says.
“The SJA awards are the highest recognition of talent for sports writing and photography from a pool of talent unequalled in the English-speaking world. The last thing any journalist should think is: ‘What’s the point of entering, I won’t win.’ If you don’t enter you certainly won’t win.”
Once again, the SJA is extremely grateful to the help, advice and support of our impressive panel of judges, and the sports editors who will choose who will follow Michael Atherton and Scott Heavey to become the latest Sports Writer and Sports Photographer of the Year.
As in previous years, our broadcast awards will be determined by a ballot of SJA members; full details will be posted online in due course and sent to members by email.
Entry forms and details
Click on the appropriate link to access your entry form for the 2010 SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, sponsored by UK Sport. We recommend that all applicants also read in full our Frequently Asked Questions page.