The True Story Foundation, based in Bern, Switzerland, focused on promoting the creation of non-fiction long forms and telling of true stories is now accepting entries from journalists around the world for its 2024 True Story Award, a global journalism prize, which aims to make reporters’ voices known beyond the borders of their home countries. The Award is targeted at stories that illuminate local events from a variety of perspectives.
The True Story Award is the first global journalism prize aimed at making reporters’ voices known beyond the borders of their home countries, thereby increasing the diversity of perspectives offered in the media.
It will be conferred by an independent foundation and will honour reporters who have distinguished themselves by the depth of their research, the quality of their journalism, and its social relevance.
It is open to all journalists anywhere in the world who produce written reportage. Works can be submitted in the following 10 languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French German, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Español. Works written in other languages can be submitted in three categories namely Europe, World I, and World II.
Texts in these categories can be entered in English (World II also in Hindi) and go directly to the jury.
Submissions in the original language must include a summary in English of at least 400 words. In this case, native-speaking readers from True Story Foundation network will review the original text and decide on a translation into English for evaluation by the jury.
The True Story Award will be given to the kind of reportage that demonstrates the following qualities: a narrative account of real events, in-depth research on location, rigorously researched facts, and linguistic richness. Pure essays, biographies, and historical reconstructions are ineligible (although of course something of these can be present in all reportage). The text’s length should be between 3,000 and 17,000 words.
The jury will evaluate the following aspects of the texts: Research (depth, time expenditure, country-specific circumstances); Quality (craft, truthfulness, narrative elegance) and Impact (social, political and economic relevance).
Fifty jury members from 29 countries will select the 36 best texts of the year and then select a winner. The winner will receive 25,000 Swiss francs in prize money, while all 36 nominees (one per text) will be invited to the True Story Festival in Bern. The underlying core of the award is the gathering of journalists from all over the world and the exchange with the audience in Bern.
Only texts published in daily or weekly newspapers, magazines, or online between September 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023, will be accepted. Compared to previous years, editorial offices can now also submit the best texts from their publications.
Re-published texts, books and manuscripts, visual and audiovisual, essays, biographies and historical non-fiction are ineligible.
Entries can be submitted by the authors or editors and entrants declare that their work covers actually researched events and that it complies with journalistic standards.
Any author whose work is nominated would grant the organisers of the True Story Award the right to publish their work in English translation on the www.truestoryaward.org website and in German translation in the festival publication at the time of the annual award ceremony.
The True Story Award has no editorial, economic or ideological agenda. It simply hopes to recognise first-class journalism.
Entries can be submitted at https://truestoryaward.org/apply. The submission deadline is Sunday, November 5, 2023, at 12:00 noon (CEST). Late submissions will not be considered.