SEJ 2024 Awards: How To Enter SEJ's Rachel Carson Environment Book Contest

DEADLINE TO ENTER: June 17, 2024
Late deadline: July 1, 2024. Extra fees apply.

Rachel Carson Environment Book Award: A nonfiction book that covers an environmental topic with a copyright date in 2023 and available to the general public.


  • Republished books aren't eligible, even if substantially altered. Books published in English for the first time during 2023 that were previously published in another language are eligible.
  • Memoirs and picture books aren't eligible.
  • Proofing copies aren't eligible.
  • Photojournalism books that tell an environmental story through images and text are eligible.
  • Four books are required for entry. See shipping info. If your entry wins first place, three more copies are required for judges of the $10,000 Nina Mason Pulliam Award for Outstanding Environmental Reporting.

SEJ Member Discount Fee: $45

Not sure you're current with dues? Check here:

Not a member? Nonmembers can enter for $110. But why not join? Journalists and professors can Join SEJ for just $40 ($70 after the first year.)

Member Benefits: Free one-on-one mentoring, low awards entry fee, low registration rates for annual conferences, members-only listservs for discussing all things journalism and environment, and much more. Click the Join SEJ link to find out what SEJ can do for you.



  • Cover Letter: This may be submitted by the author entering the contest or any other individual, and should help judges understand difficulties in the writing, impacts of the book, accolades or other information that would interest them. It can be typed in, pasted in or uploaded as a file. (A press release is not a cover letter.)
  • Hard-Copy Books:
    • Books must have an original copyright date of 2023. Books published in English for the first time during 2023 that were previously published in another language are eligible.
    • After completing the payment and online entry forms (payment link below), mail four copies of your book to:

SEJ Awards
Attn: Chris Bruggers
186 N Bellaire Ave
Louisville, KY 40206

Books must be postmarked by June 17, 2024 but please don't wait. Shipping books when you enter the contest will get your book to judges sooner.

Late entries mut be postmarked by July 1, 2024. Late fees apply.

  • Electronic book entries:
    • Include detailed instructions on how to access the book on the entry form.


  • Payment and Entry Forms (payment link below): All entrants must complete an online payment form and an online entry form. Books (hard copy or electronic) without online payment and entry form won't be sent to judges.
  • After submitting your payment, write down your invoice number. You'll need it to enter the contest.
  • Once you click Submit on the payment form, the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award entry form will open.
  • Watch for your payment confirmation.
    • The payment confirmation contains the link to your invoice number and the link to the Book Award entry form — useful if the entry form didn't open automatically.
    • If you don't see your confirmation email, check your spam. (Add SEJ to your contacts to help avoid spam hazards.)
  • The contest entry site is If you've entered this contest before, you already have a profile there. Otherwise, you'll be asked to register for the site before you can proceed. Registration is free.
  • Read the rules. Some disqualifying rules are listed on the entry forms, but it's best if you are familiar with the rules of the contest.
  • You can edit your entry. You'll receive an automatic response from Submittable after submitting your entry confirming the category you entered and that your entry has been received. It contains instructions on how to access your entry to make changes or to check the progress of your entry.
  • Then comes the wait. Judges' deadline is mid September. We'll let winners know ASAP after that and will announce after the winners have been contacted.



  • Entry fees by June 17:
    • SEJ Members: $45
    • Nonmember fee: $110 (Join SEJ for $40 and pay the member rate of $45.)*
  • Late fees, June 18 - July 1:
    • SEJ Members: $90
    • Nonmember: $220
  • AMEX, Visa, Mastercard and PayPal accepted. US funds only.
  • WATCH FOR YOUR EMAILED PAYMENT CONFIRMATION. It has your invoice number (needed for the entry form) and the link to the entry form.
  • For PayPal users, your transaction ID# will be in your emailed confirmation.

Reminder: SEJ membership must be current to access the SEJ member rate. If membership dues or awards fees pose a barrier, current or lapsed members can request a fee waiver from the SEJ Members in Need fund. If you'd like to help, you can make a donation to the fund here.

* Joining SEJ? Please read the membership application thoughtfully to avoid applying if you don't qualify. Note that individuals engaged in any kind of paid public relations work concerning environmental issues are not eligible for membership.

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