Journalism Award


Every year, the AAR honors the best in-depth reporting on religion. The contest is open to all print and web-based journalists at media outlets of any size. View a list of past winners and sample articles.


  • News articles, columns, editorials, and other opinion writing in print media of any size or in web-based media.
  • Three to five articles published during the previous calendar year, January 1 through December 31. Not less than three articles and not more than five may be submitted per entry.
  • Any topic related to religion.
  • Writing should include a historical, explanatory, or contextual approach to the subject matter, using research or perspectives of scholars.
  • Writing for general audiences preferred.
  • Writing on a diversity of topics (across traditions or within a single tradition) preferred.
  • Contestants should be the sole author, except that one of the articles may have multiple bylines or credits, provided that contestants identify the article and state that they did most of the writing.
  • Non-English language articles, including those published outside North America, acceptable if translated into English. Copies of original articles must be included with submission.
  • Sidebars acceptable as part of an article or may be entered as a separate article.
  • Articles from a series acceptable, though other eligibility items should be considered: not less than three and not more than five articles per entry, and writing on a diversity of topics preferred.

Submission Instructions

Entries must be submitted via the online form provided; mailed submissions are not accepted. To complete the online form, contestants will be required to:

  • Create one document (Word, PDF, or text file) for all of your articles.
  • Remove all identifiers from articles — bylines, photo credits, publication names, etc. — except headlines and dates published.
  • Upload the one document (Word, PDF, or text file) containing all the articles in your submission. 
  • Pay $25 (USD) by credit card: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa.

Selection Process

  • Winners are chosen by a jury comprised of two non-committee member journalism or media professionals, and one member of the AAR’s Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion, which oversees the contest.
  • Second and third place prizes are awarded at the discretion of the judges.
  • Contest winners are usually announced in June.


For contest questions, contact Marion Pierre at


Closed. The award cycle will reopen in 2022

Annual Deadline

March 14

Entry Fee


Award Amount

First place: $1,000

Second place: $500

Third place: $250

Second and third place awarded at discretion of judges.