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Deadline for Entries:  June 1, 2023
VOWA '23 EIC Contest

The Virginia Outdoor Writers Association (VOWA) is proud to announce this year’s competition. The Excellence-in-Craft (EIC) contest was created to recognize VOWA members and non-members for outstanding work in the field of Outdoor Communication. This year’s contest is open to all members of VOWA, and in our continuing effort to further the growth of the outdoor writing field, any resident of Virginia*, non- residents, non-VOWA members who are outdoor communicators are also encouraged to enter with the stipulation that their entry is specific in content to Virginia. 

*For Virginia residents who are first time entrants in the EIC competition, VOWA would like to extend to you a complimentary one-year membership to the organization and an invitation to attend the yearly membership meeting at no charge.

EIC Chairperson


Robert Thomas

806 Wilmer Ave, Richmond, VA 23227

(804) 307-7122




​You may enter as many categories as you like but will be limited to two entries per category. This is an “Excellence in Craft” competition and  we also do not want to overwhelm the judges. We want to see your best work. Entries should be for work published January 2022 to June 1, 2023 except for:

  • books which have a January 2020-June 1, 2023 timeframe

  • submissions for the "Photograph – Unpublished" category​


Entries should be submitted in digital format to Robert Thomas via email or mail (CD or flash drive). Photographs should be in JPEG format and other entries in a PDF or a hotlink to the publication.


If you are entering a book or video, or if you have any problems/questions about submissions or which category to enter, please contact Robert to determine the best course of action. 


​Deadline for entries will be June 1, 2023 in order to give the judges ample time to perform their duties.




Published Work


To be considered “Published” the submission needs to have appeared in a print publication—newspaper, magazine, book, etc. OR appeared online in an e-Magazine, a blog, an eBook, etc.; or is offered/advertised for sale as a digital file or a hard copy. Items appearing on social media platforms—Facebook, Instagram, personal blogs, etc, are not considered “published”.


Unpublished Photographs


Items appearing on social media platforms, created for personal pleasure, or created as part on an assignment but not used will be considered unpublished.


Please contact Robert if you have any questions about these terms.





  • NEWSLETTER (submit one issue)


  • BOOK

  • PHOTOGRAPH - Published

  • PHOTOGRAPH - Unpublished






​Awards are to be framed certificates. Up to three awards in each category. Entries must meet a specific level of excellence as determined by the judges. Awards will be given no matter the number of entries, as long as the entry meets the minimum requirement.




​Please only one submission per Special Award. The submission can also be entered in one of the regular EIC contest categories. Just remember that they need to be separate submissions.


​Mossy Creek Fly Fishing Award


​This award must have fly fishing as its main emphasis. The submission can come from any category, but you must specify that you are entering the Mossy Creek Fly Fishing Contest. Winner will receive a guided trip with Mossy Creek Fly Fishing.


Fly Fishers of Virginia Conservation Award


This award must have the conservation of natural resources as its main emphasis. The
submission can come from any category, but you must specify that you are entering the Fly
Fishers of Virginia Conservation Award Contest. Winner will receive a check for $100.


Appalachian Headwaters Award


This award is for best conservation writing focused on pollinators. The submission can come from any of the writing categories, but you must specify that you are entering the Appalachian Headwaters Special Award Contest. Winner will receive a $100 cash prize.


​We thank Mossy Creek Fly Fishing, Fly Fishers of Virginia and our newest sponsor Appalachian Headwaters for their generosity in providing our special awards and for their support of excellence in outdoor communications.



Each category will have a Judging Coordinator who will determine the criteria for that category. The criteria will be assigned a point value as determined by the coordinator and will add up to 100 points. An entry must receive at least 80 points to be eligible for an award.


We are always looking for qualified judges. If you know someone who might be a good judge for a category or if you would like to be a judge for a category that you are not entering, please let us know.

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