Youth writing and photography contests aim to inspire the next generation 

Photographer outdoors in a field with mountains in the background

OWAA leadership, staff, and outdoor media professionals continue to be inspired by the quality of outdoor writing and photography submitted by budding outdoor communicators. And it’s more than just words and images on a page. 

“The contest isn’t just about the writing or photography,” said OWAA’s Executive Director Chez Chesak. “It’s about inspiration. It’s about encouraging the next generation to get outside, enjoy the outdoor experience and tell their story in their chosen medium.”

Behind each contest submission, there’s a young writer or photographer sharing a personal outdoor experience with a broader audience. They connected with the outdoors in a way that made them want to share it with the world. And whether it’s a young photographer who hiked to a waterfall or a writer who traveled to a place outdoors to feel something and then translate those feelings into words, both share a common denominator that a lot of us relate to — a love for our shared outdoor spaces. 

To encourage young writers in communicating the outdoor experience, OWAA offers annual cash awards and a year-long complimentary student membership. 

Congratulations to the 2022 award winners!

2022 Norm Strung Youth Writing Contest Award winners

  • First Place: Tanvi Dutta Gupta, “Bodies of Water”
  • Second Place: Robyn Graygor, “Planting a Network of Connections”
  • Third Place: Katherine Giroux, “A Taste of Iron”

The full winning writing submissions will be published in the Winter, 2022 issue of Outdoors Unlimited. 

2022 OWAA Photo Contest winners

  • First Place: Caleb Mast
  • Second Place: Olivia Cangelosi
  • Third Place: Lucy Wing

Norm Strung Youth Writing Awards and OWAA Student Photo Contest

Through the Norm Strung Youth Writing Awards and the OWAA Student Photo Contest, OWAA rewards budding North American writers and photographers who capture the outdoors.

Cash prizes are awarded to first-, second-, and third-place winners in both categories, split over two age groups (high school seniors and juniors and college students). Entries must have been created during 2022. Entries are judged by outdoor media professionals and winners are announced in May. Prizes for all categories are awarded as such: 

  • 1st – $200
  • 2nd – $100
  • 3rd – $50

Each winner will receive a year-long OWAA Student Membership ($25 value), have their name included in a nationally distributed press release, and have their story/photo included in OWAA’s magazine Outdoors Unlimited.

To learn more about the Norm Strung Youth Writing Contest, click here. To learn how to apply for the OWAA Student Photo Contest, click here.

Entries may be submitted between September 1 and January 31 via OWAA Supporting Group On September 1st, 2022, submissions will open and you can enter here.

Norm Strung Youth Writing Awards Rules

OWAA Student Photo Contest Rules

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