Registration opens:
Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019

Deadline for entries:
Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020,
11:59 p.m., U.S. Central Standard Time (5:59 a.m. GMT)

Judging dates:
News, Feb. 10–14
Sports, Feb. 17–19
Reportage, Feb. 21–25
Team, Feb. 28–March 3

Awards in Columbia, Mo.:
Winner presentations, Friday, April 24
Awards receptions, Friday evening, April 24


Pictures of the Year International
Phone: 573-884-2188

Mailing address:
Pictures of the Year International
Missouri School of Journalism
109 Lee Hills Hall
Columbia, MO 65211


$1,000 cash prizes & Tiffany crystal trophy::
• Photographer of the Year, International
• Photographer of the Year, Local
• World Understanding Award
• Community Awareness Award
• Environmental Vision Award

Tiffany crystal trophy::
• Sports Photographer of the Year
• Documentary Storyteller of the Year
• Online Storytelling Project of the Year
• Photography Book of the Year
• Visual Editor of the Year
• Documentary Journalism

Angus McDougall Excellence in Editing Award:
Winner hosts a sterling silver trophy for one year and receives free tuition to the Missouri Photo Workshop

Individual category winners:
1st — Engraved plaque awards
2nd, 3rd, and AE — Certificate awards

  • Publication is not a requirement for entering photographs in any category.
  • Anyone may enter. However, most entrants are at a “professional” level.
  • Photographs entered must have been taken or published for the first time between Jan. 1, and Dec. 31, 2019.
  • Photographs must include captions with the date the photograph was taken or first published.
  • If the exact day is not known, include the month (i.e. "Photo taken in May, 2019.")
  • Each person submitting an entry must have an individual registration.

The POY Rising Star Scholarship

Pictures of the Year accepting applications for the Rising Star Scholarship to attend the POY judging. We are offering this opportunity to a working visual journalist of color with five or less years of professional experience.

For 75 years POY has recognized excellence in visual reporting. Through an intensive judging process, the best of the industry is selected each year. The judging is streamed live so that anyone can see the process and hear the discussion. However, watching it in person, uninterrupted by the outside world, takes the experience to a deeper level. It can be humbling and inspiring to see the breadth of photography and hear the judges debate the merits of the work. The experience has been called a master class in visual leadership.

Photographers from nearly 100 countries enter their stories of news and communities. It is this diversity that makes watching POY so powerful. We know that this diversity of the communities that we cover are not fully reflected in our industry. We need more perspectives. One step toward that goal is to use the POY platform to support visual journalists of color in becoming leaders in our profession. And, it is in this spirit, that we created the scholarship. POY will pay for your travel, food and lodging. We want you to be our VIP guest!

As a Rising Star Scholarship recipient, you will have a ringside seat to watch the judging, gain insight into what it takes to win in POY and get VIP treatment. You will have plenty of one-on-one time with the judges, making important contacts and having the chance to discuss industry topics on a high level. You will see what it takes to be the best, from the best.

How to apply

Submit an application with active URL links to your portfolio to: Please write, “Rising Star application” in the subject line.

All applicants must be available to attend POY, for a two-day visit, between the judging dates of Feb. 10 to Feb. 25, 2020.

Photographers: submit a documentary portfolio and a letter explaining why you are working as a photojournalist and a future career goal for yourself.

Editors and producers: submit examples of past or current projects, a letter detailing your involvement and a future career goal for yourself.

Letters of endorsement may be included with your submission.

Deadline is Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020.

• • •


I declare that I am authorized by the holder of the copyright (or the right to copyright) to submit photographs to the 75th annual Pictures of the Year International (POY) competition. Pictures of the Year International (POY) recognizes and respects that copyrights are held by the photographer and/or news organization. I grant permission to Pictures of the Year International and the Missouri School of Journalism to use my submitted photographs in exhibitions, in publications, and in promotions of the competition itself, and for educational, research, and historical record purposes concerning Pictures of the Year International. This usage includes, but is not limited to, slides/tapes, television film/tapes, videodisc, DVDs, CDs, websites, and any other type of mechanical, electronic, or digital dissemination system. Winning photographs, published tearsheets, editing displays, multimedia productions, and other images selected for historic significance become part of the permanent POY Archive. By entering, I declare that the photographs were taken or initially published during the calendar year of 2017. (The time period does not apply to the World Understanding Award.)

Pictures of the Year International is a program of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. The University of Missouri is a public, tax-exempt educational institution of the State of Missouri. POY provides an educational mission for career development and student advancement, without profit. To achieve the educational mission of the competition, POY requests $50 (U.S. dollars) compensation from participants to cover the costs associated with operation of the competition.