2019 Focus on the Story Awards — Call for Entries

Focus on the Story is looking for images that explore the human condition, allowing for a broad interpretation of the emotions, struggles, conflicts and needs that shape human existence. We will make awards in two categories:

  • Best Single Image — $1,000 to an overall Winner, $500 to the First Runner-Up and $250 to the Second Runner-Up; winner and select runners up will be exhibited at Focus on the Story 2019 and published in a year-end “best of” book.
  • Best Series of up to 8 related images — $1,000 to an overall Winner, $500 to the First Runner-up and $250 to the Second Runner-Up; winner and select runners up will be exhibited at Focus on the Story 2019 and published in a year-end “best of” book.

 Entries CLOSED  • Winners announced early April

An independent jury impaneled by Focus on the Story will select winners, runners-up and honorable mentions. Winners and select runners-up and honorable mentions will have their work exhibited during Focus on the Story 2019, a photo festival held in Washington, D.C., and published in a “best of” yearbook. Additionally, some of the images may be selected by our exhibition sponsor Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies to be included in the school’s permanent collection in honor of its 75th anniversary celebration.

This competition is hosted in an agreement between LensCulture and Focus on the Story. By entering this contest you acknowledge you have read the terms and conditions. Once you click the “enter” button, you will be redirected to the LensCulture website so that you can sign up for an account and submit your entry through the online entry portal.

(Images at top of page are winners and runners up from the 2018 contest. Credits from bottom right, clockwise: James Whitlow Delano, Miki Iwamura, Alain Schroeder, Schroeder, Babajide Adeniyi-Jones and Manel Quiros. See the winners of the Focus on the Story 2018 Awards, here.)

Join us May 29 - June 2, 2019 in the nation's capital.

Here's How to Win

Explore the human condition, shine a light on marginalized communities or spotlight those making a positive difference in the world.

Enter a series of up to 8 related images for $30 or enter five single images for $25, with $5 for each additional image.

Focus on the Story will award $1,000 to the overall Winner, $500 to the 1st Runner-Up and $250 to the 2nd Runner-Up in each category.

Winners and select runners up and honorable mentions will be exhibited at Focus on the Story 2019  and published in our “best of” yearbook.

The Contest Jurors

John Christopher Anderson
Co-Founder, Momenta Workshops
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Xyza Cruz Bacani
Documentary photographer
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James Whitlow Delano
Documentary photographer
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Juste
Carl Juste
Photojournalist, Miami Herald
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Molly Roberts
Senior editor, National Geographic Magazine
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Susan Sterner
Director of New Media, Corcoran School of Arts & Design
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Amber Terranova
Educator, Magnum Photos
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Terms and Conditions

  1. By entering this contest, you attest that you have full authorization to enter the submitted images i.e. you took the image and own the copyright.
  2. You attest that you are 18 or older.
  3. Entries with watermarks will not be considered.
  4. The winning entries will be selected by jurors chosen by Focus on the Story Inc. Employees and contractors of Focus on the Story are prohibited from entering.
  5. Focus on the Story will award $1,000 to the overall best Series winner and  $1,000 award to the overall best Single Image winner. The First Runner-Up in each of the categories will receive $500. The Second Runner-Up in each of the categories will receive $250. Winners and select runners-up and honorable mentions will also have their work exhibited at Focus on the Story 2019 in Washington, D.C. and published in a “Best of” book. Additionally, by entering this contest, you agree that your image may be selected by our exhibition sponsor Johns Hopkins  School of Advanced International Studies to be exhibited as part of the school’s permanent collection.
  6. If your image is selected for exhibition or publication in the “Best of” book, you may be asked to submit a higher resolution image file. Failure to provide the file may result in revocation of your award.
  7. Entrants remain the owner of all rights to submitted images, including all copyrights.
  8. By submitting your image(s), you agree that Focus on the Story may promote your work on websites and social media networks, and you grant Focus on the Story the right to use your submitted image(s) in promotional materials related to its photo contests. All images used in this way will, whenever possible, be duly credited to you. If your image is selected as a winner, runner-up or honorable mention you grant Focus on the Story an irrevocable, royalty-free license to publish your image in its contest recaps that appear in its “best of” book, which may be either a soft or hardcover book published and potentially sold by Focus on the Story. If your work is selected as a winner, runner-up or honorable mention, you also agree that it may be selected for the permanent collection of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
  9. You waive any right to bring any claim against Focus on the Story or Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies on the ground that its use of your images constitutes an infringing or otherwise unauthorized use under the laws of any jurisdiction in which your photographs are published under this license.
  10. By submitting images to this contest, you acknowledge that you have read and understand the terms and conditions of this contest. You also agree to receive occasional emails from Focus on the Story, which you may unsubscribe to at any time.
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