The Orange County Press Club hosts an annual awards contest to recognize outstanding Orange County journalism.

Entries are due each spring for work published or posted the previous calendar year. An annual awards gala is held each year to announce and honor the finalists.

Contest Archives

Finalists for previous annual awards contests. Each year's awards are for the previous calendar year (for example the 2019 year is for stories published during 2018).


2020 Awards Contest

The 2020 awards contest is for work published or posted between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2019. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020.

Award Entry Payment

Each entry submitted for the contest is $10. Click the button below to make a payment after submitting to the contest.

Applies to publications with a print and digital presence.

  • Best News Story
  • Best News Feature Story
  • Best Breaking News Story
  • Best Investigative Story
  • Best Series (may submit up to five related examples)
  • Best Beat Reporting (may submit up to five related examples)
  • Best Public Affairs Story
  • Best Cannabis Coverage (may submit up to five related examples)
  • Best Feature Story
  • Best Round-Up or Best Of
  • Best Business Story
  • Best Sports Story
  • Best Arts/Culture Story
  • Best Arts/Culture Review
  • Best Music/Entertainment Story
  • Best Music/Entertainment Review
  • Best Environmental News Story
  • Best Education Story
  • Best Food/Restaurant Story
  • Best Food/Restaurant Review
  • Best Travel Story
  • Best Profile
  • Best Religion Story
  • David McQuay Award for Best Columnist (may submit up to five related examples)
  • Marjorie Freeman Award for Best Humorous Story


  • Best News Story
  • Best News Feature Story
  • Best Public Affairs Story
  • Best Feature Story
  • Best Music/Entertainment Story or Review
  • Best Arts/Culture Story or Review
  • Best Food/Restaurant Story or Review


  • Best Broadcast
  • Best Use of Multimedia
  • Best Podcast


  • Best Cover
  • Best Page Design
  • Best Graphic
  • Best Illustration


  • Best News Photo
  • Best Sports Photo
  • Best Feature Photo
  • Best Portrait
  • Best Photo Essay (print)
  • Best Slideshow (online)


  • The Real O.C. Award (For the story, review, feature, column, photo or broadcast/video that best captures something special, surprising, telling or essential about Orange County)

Rules & Procedures

  • All entries must be received by midnight on Friday, May 8, 2020. Entries received by midnight on April 10 are eligible for an "early bird" rate of $5 per entry. All entries received between April 10 and May 8 will be charged $10 per entry. No entries will be accepted after May 8.
  • All entries are to have been published or posted between Jan. 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2019.
  • Entries are requested to be via link to an online source, except in the photography categories. PDFs will be accepted if no online source is available. Photo entries should be in jpg or PDF format, with one image per entry. (Please do not send PDFs of pages with multiple images.)
  • Please do not alter entries from how the story/video/post/photo originally ran. The press club reserves the option to review all entries to ensure compliance.
  • Entrants must be current members of the Orange County Press Club. Applicable membership dues (journalist, $25; public relations, $50) must be up to date and are payable at the time of entry.
  • Email entries to Please include OC PRESS CLUB AWARDS ENTRY in the subject line. The body of the email should contain: entrant's name, address/phone number/direct email (in case the committee needs to contact entrant directly), category title, date(s) entry appeared, link to entry.
  • If multiple authors hold the byline for an article, series, etc., all authors must be press club members or the submitting member MUST obtain written permission from all other authors listed.
  • There is no limit on the number of entries per journalist, but please submit a particular story in only one award category (the only exception is The Real O.C.). Entrants are limited to five entries per category. For those categories requiring multiple examples (i.e., columnist, series, beat or coverage), one fee is charged per overall entry in that particular category. Other than those categories, please submit only one story/post/video/photo per entry. For example, a Best Feature entry should include only ONE story, not multiple stories and/or posts on the same subject.
  • If combining entries via email, please send separate emails for each entrant. For example, one email for Candidate A's entries, then a second email for Candidate B's entries.
  • Categories requiring more than one example (i.e., columnist, series, beat or coverage) must include clear links to those particular stories/posts being entered. The press club reserves the right to exclude those entries without clear examples if the entrant does not respond to a clarification request within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Please do not submit resumes and/or biographies for entrants. These will not be passed on to the judges.
  • Please be courteous to our judges who read/view the entries by abiding by these rules. The press club reserves the right to not award a winner in any category with fewer than five entries, or at the discretion of the judges.
  • Fees paid via PayPal are preferred. Go to for instructions on payments for entries and for membership dues payable via PayPal.
  • If fees must be paid by check, contact the press club via for instructions. If fees are not received by the time the entries are sent to judges (May 8), the press club reserves the right to disqualify the applicable entries.
  • The press club will make every attempt to notify entrants if they are among the awards finalists (placing first, second, third or honorable mention, where applicable).
  • Details of the awards dinner to announce winners and distribute trophies/certificates will be released at a later date.