2023 High School Outdoor Writing & Photography Scholarships




Eligibility — Open free to all high school Juniors and Seniors in  California public and private schools.

Subject —For writers: Minimum 500 words on any outdoor subject in digital format: essay, news article, personal experience, documentary, blog, research study, etc; no minimum word count for poetry.

For photographers: A portfolio of three photos of any combination of outdoor subjects (fauna, flora, scenic, people) in digital format, color or b/w. Digital adjustments and processing are allowed.

Deadline — Submit in digital format by April 1, 2023 by email to address below.

Winners — First- second- and third-place winners will each receive cash awards and certificates plus the prestige of recognition by California’s leading organization of outdoor media professionals.

Entry Format – Submit your name, address, email, telephone, grade level, high school name and location, title of your submission, and a statement that you and, if you’re under 18 years, your parents or guardian agree that your name and entry may be used by OWAC for publicity purposes.

Judging – Contest entries will be judged by professional journalists and photographers from OWAC.

Contest Sponsor — Outdoor Writers Association of California established the Pat Vachini Outdoor Writing Scholarships in memory of the wife of Don Vachini, long-time OWAC member and one of California’s foremost outdoor writers and photographers.

What is OWAC? — Founded in 1986, OWAC is the only organization of outdoor media professionals in the state of California. Members include newspaper and magazine staffers, freelance writers, book authors, bloggers, internet content contributors, photographers, broadcasters, editors, and media professionals covering winter sports, bicycling, fishing, hunting/shooting sports, archery, camping, birding, water sports, wildlife watching, camping, general outdoor recreation and conservation.

OWAC’s Mission — OWAC is a non-profit association of media professionals who communicate the vast array of outdoor recreational opportunities and related issues in California, the surrounding western region, and beyond. OWAC helps outdoor media professionals inform outdoor enthusiasts, expand awareness of conservation issues, and create a new generation of outdoor-media professionals. OWAC bestows awards to Excellence in Craft winners, Californian of the Year honorees, and for high school students to explore Outdoor Writing/Photography and media communications.

Send entries to

2023 Pat Vachini High School Outdoor Writing & Photography Scholarships

[email protected]

For further information go to www.owac.org or call 949-466-3073

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Peter Schroeder

Peter Schroeder


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