Release Date: 01/30/2006

The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) and Safari Club International (SCI) will sponsor the 2006 Youth Outdoor Journalism Contest with support from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

LOWA is starting the contest earlier this year to coincide with the school year and allow time to judge all of the entries.  LOWA is also encouraging teachers to conduct their own photograph and essay contests.

 This year, we suggest teachers have class competitions and assign it as a writing exercise.  Then the teachers or students can vote on the best entries and submit the top handful to LOWA for consideration in the contest, said Gordon Hutchinson, LOWA Youth Journalism Contest Committee chairman.  However, we are still urging teachers to encourage enthusiastic youths to enter on their own.

The contest will include both essay and photography categories that are designed to spur interest in outdoor journalism in the youth of Louisiana.  Professional educators and outdoor communicators judge all entries, and winners will be notified by May 5, 2006.

The essay contest is broken into two age classes, senior (ages 14-18) and junior (ages 9-13).  The essays should be about personal experiences related to the outdoors and between 300 and 1,000 words in length.

The photography category is open to all students 18 years of age and younger with no specific age categories.  An original, unpublished photo in color or black and white in either a 4-by-6-inch, 5-by-7-inch or 8-by-10-inch print that is center mounted on 8-by-10-inch poster or mounting board will be accepted. 

LDWF will publish the first-place essay and photography winners in upcoming issues of their magazine, Louisiana Conservationist. 

First place prizewinners will also take home $150 in cash.  Second place will receive $100 and third place will get $50.  All three places will receive an award certificate from LOWA.  The cash prizes are donated to the competition by Louisiana chapters of SCI and will be presented at the annual LOWA Fall Conference in St. Francisville on Aug. 19.

All entries must be postmarked no later than Mar. 17, 2006 and sent to ED. Services/LOWA, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.  The entries must also include the contestants name, age, school, home address and telephone number at the top of the first page of the essay or attached to the back of the mounting board of the photos.

The complete list of rules can be acquired at the LOWAs Web site at, or at the LDWF Headquarters Buildings located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge, or by fax by contacting the LDWF Library at 225-765-2800.

EDITORS: For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or