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BWAA 2023 Writing Contest Rules, Categories And Deadline

Fellow members of the BWAA, any writers’ organization exists for several purposes, but high on all such lists, and the Boxing Writers Association of America is no different, is the imperative to acknowledge and reward the best work done by its members in a particular calendar year. The following rules and categories should be familiar to most of you, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat the obvious.

The 2023 writing contest consists of six categories, all of which are numbered (no identifying names or bylines seen by the judges) and must have appeared in print or online from January 1 through December 31. An independent panel of judges, as always, has the task of selecting the winners, who receive their awards at the BWAA Awards Dinner, the date and site of which have yet to be announced; those placing entrants unable to attend the dinner will have their awards shipped to them.

The contest is open to all BWAA members, full and associate, but their annual dues of $40 should be current. Dues can be paid via PayPal ( or by check, made out to the Boxing Writers Association of America or Gina Andriolo, 1215 76th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11228. As most of you should know, participants are limited to one entry per category.

The deadline for entries to be received is Friday, Jan. 19, 2024 12 p.m. ET. We’re only accepting entries via email as copied/pasted Word documents, or PDFs able to be edited. ALL SUBMISSIONS MUST BE SENT TO BWAACONTESTS@GMAIL.COM.

All submissions are to be copied and pasted into WORD file, and attached by separate categories, the entrant’s name, the category, the date on which it appeared in print or online, and the media outlet for which it was written.

Tony Paige is the new BWAA Awards Chairman, taking over the Bernie Writing Awards contest.

Information regarding membership, dues, etc., can be located by going to the BWAA web site, If need be, contact BWAA president Joseph Santoliquito at




The categories:

Category A, Event Coverage: This is restricted to stories done off fights, not feature stories done in advance of or written after the event. All such stories must have been published or posted within 36 hours of said event. That unfortunately precludes submissions for magazines, in which the writer might have weeks to gather additional material for his or her story.

Category B, Column: These ideally are opinion pieces in which the writer offers his or her stance on a particular boxing issue or person involved in boxing. There are many terrific feature stories in which the writer’s photo or likeness accompanies the text, but that in and of itself does not make it a column. Feature stories are feature stories. Take care to separate the apples from the oranges.

Category C, News Story: This category involves breaking news, and especially so if the entrant is the one breaking that news. Stories in reaction to a noted boxing figure’s death qualify, and often find favor with the judges.

Category D1, Feature Under 1,500 Words: Nobody is going to be counting words here, but if an entrant has two really good stories of, say, 3,000 words, please don’t try to slip one into the D1 category, or a story of 900 words into D2. There has to be some way to delineate and the contest chairman should not be tasked with making that determination. Use your own best judgment if you have authored a story that comes in at 1,490 words, and presumably can go either way.

Category D2, Feature Over 1,500 Words: See D1.

Category E, Investigative Reporting: There is always a bit of gray area as to whether certain stories belong in D2 or E. Let’s keep it simple. Category E always has the fewest entries, but is especially prestigious because it involves much digging and reporting to get at the heart of subjects that are, or should be, important to readers.

The BWAA writing contest is integral to who and what we are. There are many outstanding writers/reporters in the BWAA’s ranks, and if you have material worthy of consideration, please make the effort to submit it. We are a fraternity, true, but we also are in competition with each other and especially ourselves to produce our best possible work. If that work merits special recognition, everyone within the BWAA fraternity benefits because the bar has been raised and it gives all of us standards to which we should aspire. Good luck to everyone and have a happy holiday season and prosperous New Year.

Joseph Santoliquito

President BWAA


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