1. What is this competition’s aim? 

’Belarus in Focus 2015’ is the fifth edition of a competition for journalists who publish about Belarus in the international media.

Our goal is to encourage journalists and editors to pay attention to ongoing events and trends in Belarus – political, economic, social, and cultural.  By creating a place for exchange and debate, we hope to contribute to understanding about Belarus, and help to overcome Belarus’ isolation.


  2. What are the judges looking for?

Your article may be about any issue relating to Belarus – politics, society, economic or cultural. The jury will be looking for in-depth articles with fresh, original ideas which contribute something new to an international audience’s understanding about Belarus.


 3. What can I win? 

The ‘Belarus in Focus 2015’ judging panel will award:

  • Best articles by professional journalists: x3 certificates of 500 EUR for professional development*
  • Best articles by beginner journalists: x3 certificates of 300 EUR for professional development*

In addition, an audience award will be given by online voters. Details will be announced once the competition has closed for entries.

All award winners will be invited to attend a two-day journalism workshop in spring 2015, led by jury members. The programme will include an award ceremony. Travel expenses**, food, and accommodation will be covered for those invited. 

*Prize money will be transferred to the bank accounts of winners within one month after the award ceremony has taken place.** Due to limited funds, we will only pay for return tickets to Warsaw from a destination within Europe, unless otherwise agreed.

  4. Who can take part?

There are no restrictions on nationality, citizenship, or place of residence. We particularly encourage Belarusian journalists to enter. The Competition is not open to employees of Belarus in Focus Information Office or their family members, or anyone else directly connected to the Competition.


5. What can I enter?

You may enter up to 2 articles that you have written/co-written, providing they are:

  • About Belarus 
  • Published between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015, online or in print 
  • Published in media outside of Belarus whose main target audience is non-Belarusian
  • In English/ translated into English. Other languages: Danish, Spanish, German, French, Ukrainian, Norwegian, Swedish, Bulgarian, Russian, Polish
  • More than a straightforward news/promo piece

* Only those accepted into the second round will be translated into English.


6. What other rules are there? 

Please be aware that:

  • You can only submit the article if you are the author/coauthor. Entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted.
  • You should have permission from the chief editor of the newspaper/magazine/electronic media that published your article (the online form will ask you to tick a box to confirm this).
  • Any evidence of plagiarism may result in your work being removed from the Competition.


7. Which category should I enter?

There are two categories:

  • Professional: if you have over 3 years’ experience in having your work published
  • Beginner: if you have under 3 years’ experience in having your work published*

*Please note that 2014 winners/honourable mentions should enter the professional category this year. 

8. When is the deadline?

The competition is open for entries until midnight on Thursday, January 19th, 2016 (but your article should have been published in 2015). Any entries received after this date will not be accepted. The organizers reserve the right to extend the deadline. In such a case, an announcement will be placed on the website.


9. How will entries be judged?

Entries will be evaluated by an international jury. Working at long distance, judges will reach a final decision by February 17th, 2016. When possible, judges will read your article in its original language.The panel’s decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into with entrants.


10. How will the winners be announced?

Winners and finalists will be announced on the competition website and contacted via email by February 18th, 2016. The finalists will be invited to a two-day workshop in spring 2016, in Warsaw or Minsk (TBA). Winners will be awarded at a ceremony to be held during the workshop.


11. How can I enter?

Please fill in the online application form. If you have any questions, contact focus@solidarityby.eu. Your article will be uploaded onto the competition website within 3 days, providing that it corresponds to the basic criteria. If it has not been uploaded, please contact us. 


12. What are the key dates?

Thursday, October 1st, 2015 Competition announced
Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 (midnight) Deadline for submissions
Thursday, February 18th, 2016 Winners announced 
Spring 2016 Deadline for submissions


13. Who is organising the competition? 

Belarus in Focus 2015 is held by Belarus in Focus Information Office, in partnership with Press Club Belarus and Press Club Polska, members of the International Association of Press Clubs, and supported in part by NIRAS.

Information partners include: Belarusian PEN Centre (Minsk), Civic Belarus (Prague), Eastbook (Warsaw), European Federation of Journalists (Brussels), The Guardian’s New East Network (London), MYMEDIA (Kiev), n-ost, the Network for Reporting on Eastern Europe (Berlin), Office for a Democratic Belarus (Brussels), and Ostgruppen (Stockholm).

Photo Gallery