Janelle Joseph Environmental Writing Award

Click the image to download this PDF flier for the summer 2023 contest.

Each summer since 2020, our gracious Q benefactor, Janelle Joseph, has sponsored an Environmental Writing Contest for all University of Illinois undergraduates.

The contest is open to students of any major, geared toward those with an interest in writing and the environment! Winners will have their work published in an upcoming issue of Q.

Read iSEE’s news release about the 2023 winners! >>>

Students are invited to submit in one of these five categories:

  • Feature — In-depth, research-based piece on a topic of your choice (Examples: “Burn Zone” by Andy Sima, 2020 Grand Prize Winner; and “Crypto’s Dark Secret” by Tyler Swanson, 2021 Grand Prize Winner)
  • Memoir — Write a narrative of your personal involvement with an environmental issue or an experience with nature, and what it meant to you (Example: “Solastalgia” by Maria Maring, 2020 category winner, and “A Bug’s Life” by Momo Wang, 2022 category winner)
  • Op-Ed — Your research-backed take on a current environmental “hot topic” (Example: “End to Greenwashing?” by Jennifer Coronel, 2020 category winner)
  • Q&A — Interview an environmental researcher or activist (Example: “Sustainability with Style” by Jane Halloran)
  • “At Illinois” — Submit a piece in any of the above genres spotlighting innovative environmental research, activism, or stewardship at the University of Illinois (Example: “Plant Power” by Kayla Vittore, 2021 category winner, and “Small Birds, Big Impacts” by Eva Bein, 2022 Grand Prize winner)


Contest details:

Grand Prize: $1,000 + publication in Q 

Category Prizes: $500 + publication in Q

Eligibility: Open to Illinois undergraduates only

Length: 1,000-2,000 words

Deadline: Entries accepted each summer and fall, usually July through September.

Contact: Email submissions and questions to qmagazineillinois@gmail.com!