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OverviewFinalistsJudgesRulesArticlesHow to enterBelarus in Focus 2011

Competition rules

What is the competition about?

Who can apply?

What kind of articles can be submitted?

How can I enter?

What is the prize?

How will entries be judged?

How will the winners be announced?

Who is organizing the competition?

Key dates

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What is the competition about?

‘Belarus in Focus 2012’ is the second edition of a competition for journalists writing about Belarus for an international audience.  Held by Solidarity with Belarus Information Office in collaboration with Press Club Polska, the competition aims to highlight articles that attempt to present a new, original side to Belarus and explore the country beyond the label of ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’.

Who can apply?

This competition is open to anyone who has published an article about Belarus for an audience outside of Belarus. There are no restrictions on nationality, citizenship, or place of residence. The Competition is not open to employees of Solidarity for Belarus Information Office or their family members, or anyone else connected to the Competition.

What kind of articles can be submitted?

The article should have been published in a publication outside of Belarus. Only written articles may be submitted. They may have been published online or in print. Radio reports will be accepted if they have been published as an accompanying article on a website.

This year, competition judges will be looking for articles which present a new, original side to Belarus and explore the country beyond the label of ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’. Articles should be of high journalistic quality; not contain any xenophobic, discriminatory, or offensive statements, or be untruthful or misleading.

Your article should have been published between November 16, 2011 and December 31, 2012.

How can I enter?

You may submit up to three articles. In order to enter the competition, please obtain permission from the chief editor of the publication that published your article.  Please include a translation into English if your article was not originally written in English. Incomplete entries or entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted. Any evidence of plagiarism may result in your work being removed from the Competition.

All entries must be received by 11.59pm on January 15, 2013. Any entries received after this closing date will not be accepted. The organizers reserve the right to change the closing date where the entries are of insufficient quality.

Please submit your article here.

How will entries be judged?

Entries will be evaluated by an international panel of judges via email. Judging will take place between January 15 and February 15, 2013.

The judging panel will be looking for articles which present a new, original side to Belarus and explore Belarus beyond the label of ’the last dictatorship of Europe’. When possible, the judges will read your article in the original language.

The panel will rank the entries according to a 3-point system, and select a shortlist of up to ten entrants. If two or more entrants receive the same number of points, the panel will revote. If there is no consensus following the second re-voting, the chairman of the panel will make the decision. The winner will be the person who is ranked the highest by the jury. Second and third places will be awarded (see ’’what is the prize’’).

The panel’s decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into with entrants and/or Finalists. The expert panel will review and rank all submissions by February 15, 2013.

How will the winners be announced?

Up to 10 short-listed entrants (’finalists’) will be contacted by February 15, 2013, and their names will be announced on the competition website. The finalists will be invited to a two-day workshop in spring 2013, hosted by Solidarity with Belarus Information Office and Press Club Polska in Warsaw. The final results will be announced at a press conference to be held during the journalist workshop in spring 2013.

What is the prize?

The following prizes will be awarded: 1st prize: 2,000 EUR, 2nd prize: 1,000 EUR, 3rd prize: 500 EUR. 

Up to ten finalists will be invited to attend a two-day workshop with journalists from independent Belarusian media that will be held in Warsaw in spring 2013. The workshop will look at the challenges that journalists face in writing about Belarus, and the general conditions of working as a journalist in Belarus. See here for last year’s workshop.

Travel expenses, food, and accommodation will be covered for finalists who attend the workshop. Please note: due to limited funds, we will only be able to invite finalists who will be travelling from a destination within Europe, to attend the 2-day workshop.

Prize money will be transferred to the bank accounts of winners within one month after being officially awarded the prize. Winners will be responsible for paying any taxes that are due.

Who is organizing the competition?

‘Belarus in Focus’ is held by Solidarity with Belarus Information Office in cooperation with Press Club Polska. Other partners include Belapan, Belarusian Association of Journalists, Civic Belarus, Belarusian Human Rights House in Exile,  "n-ost, the Network for Reporting on Eastern Europe", Office for a Democratic Belarus, Ostgruppen.

"Belarus in Focus" is kindly supported by the Canada Fund.

Key dates

October 18, 2012:      Competition announced

January 15, 2013:       Deadline for submissions (extended to January 27th, 2013)

February 15, 2013:     Finalists contacted and announced on ‘Belarus in Focus’ competition website  

Spring 2013:               Two-day workshop in Warsaw for finalists; final results announced



Winners of Belarus in Focus 2011

Recent competition articles