Call for Entries: Atlantic Media’s 2020 Michael Kelly Award

Deadline to Enter: Monday, February 17, 2020; First Place Award: $25,000; Finalists’ Award: $3,000

Atlantic Media has issued a call for entries for the 2020 Michael Kelly Award. The deadline to enter is Monday, February 17, 2020. There is no entry fee. Submission guidelines and more details about the award are at

The Michael Kelly Award, now in its 17th year, recognizes writers and editors at U.S.-based newspapers, magazines, and online publications whose work exemplifies a quality that animated journalist Michael Kelly’s own career: the fearless pursuit and expression of truth. The award was established by Atlantic Media to honor Kelly, who died in 2003 while covering the war in Iraq. Kelly served as editor of two Atlantic Media publications, The Atlantic and National Journal.

In recognition of Kelly’s career as a reporter and editor at a variety of newspapers and magazines, entries are encouraged from publications big and small, as well as from young journalists, whom Kelly took delight in mentoring.

Entries must be for work published in a U.S.-based newspaper, magazine, or website in 2019 and can be submitted by email, either as a PDF for print articles or as a web link for online stories. Up to five pieces of work may be submitted.

A prize of $25,000 will be awarded to the winning entry. Each entry selected as a finalist will receive $3,000.

The most recent Michael Kelly Award winners are Maggie Michael, Nariman Ayman El-Mofty, and Maad al-Zikry for their reporting in The Associated Press of the ongoing civil war in Yemen. Past winners include: Shane Bauer of Mother Jones; Alissa Rubin of The New York Times, Rania Abouzeid of Politico Magazine, Rukmini Callimachi of The Associated Press, Brian Mockenhaupt of, Sarah Stillman of The New Yorker, David Rohde of The New York Times, C.J. Chivers of Esquire, and Loretta Tofani of The Salt Lake Tribune. Past winners have also been honored for work published by Raleigh’s The News & Observer, Reuters, The Seattle Times, and The Washington Post.

Additional entry information, a full list of the past winners and finalists, and remembrances of Michael Kelly from friends and colleagues can be found at Questions regarding entries should be directed to Ena Alvarado at

Finalists will be announced in the coming months, with the first-place winner honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. this spring.

Based in Washington, D.C., Atlantic Media’s innovative portfolio of digital, print, event, social, and video platforms includes The Atlantic, National Journal Group, and Government Executive Media Group. Atlantic Media publications and journalists are ineligible for the Michael Kelly Award.