Frequently Asked Questions

What are the actual rules I need to know for submitting my piece?

For YRE Canada National Competition, in order for your article, photo or video to be eligible, there are a few criteria you should adhere to.

Your piece should investigate solutions to a local environmental issue/problem based on this year’s theme and then report through writing, photos, or video.

  • Articles should be no more than 1,000 words and must be submitted in Word or .pdf format. All sources used must be referenced. Each article can have a maximum of three pictures, including infographics, with captions of 20 words for each. Any photos and illustrations that are not original work must be credited and have permission for usage.
  • Only one photo can be submitted per entry. Photos must be original work have a title of not more than 140 characters. The image must also have a description of no more than 150 words to explain the link with environmental sustainability and/or a solution to the problem/issue.
  • Videos should be no more than 3 minutes long and should be in documentary, reporter/interview style or PSA format. Videos should have a title and description and should be compatible with YouTube or Vimeo. Any photos and music which are not original must be credited and have permission for usage.

Students may submit more than one piece and can work individually or in groups of no more than three people.

Learn more: Take a look at our judging criteria

Tell me more about the awards and prizes I can win!

Winners have the chance to be published on Alternatives Journal’s website during spring 2019. Your piece may also be featured on this website and in our newsletters.

How can Young Reporters for the Environment be used in the classroom?

Young Reporters is designed to be flexible so that both individuals and classrooms can participate. The content provides a platform for various lesson plans, from the exploration of scientific concepts to the crafting of a proper article to perfecting the balance between storytelling and aesthetics in photography and filmmaking.

There are various courses Young Reporters can be integrated into, and it can be used as a one-day lesson plan, expanded into a theme for a whole unit or used as an assignment for a culminating activity.

It looks like there are two age groups (11-14 years old and 15-18 years old). Are we competing against each other?
Nope! To level the playing field, submissions will be judged separately and prizes will be awarded by age category.

What are the Young Reporters Handbooks for?

The Handbooks are here to help you develop your skills and learn the finer points of environmental journalism.

The Handbooks offer quick tips from our experts that are focused on getting you practicing concepts about writing, taking photos and filming like a journalist, and can be used by individuals or in the classroom.

What about rights to my work that I submit?

As a contributor to YRE Canada National Competition, you acknowledge that images, video, and articles may be used on the Environmental Defence website ( and in Environmental Defence online and print publications. Environmental Defence reserves the non-exclusive right to publish any entry and/or use any entry in promotional material. We take care to always credit the work of contributors.

Do you accept submissions in both English and French?

Yes, we gladly accept submissions in both English and French. Unfortunately, we don’t offer our Handbooks or rules in French at this time, however if you have any questions, please send us an email at, and we will do our best to answer.

How many entries can I submit into the competition?

There’s no limit! You can submit as many entries as you like. You can also enter in more than one medium category (writing, photo, or video) in your age category.