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2015 WORLD FOOD DAY: CSDevNet, OXFAM & AYICC unveil storytelling competition

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Women Food Climate:

Storytelling Competition for Journalists/Writers/Bloggers

Ahead of the 2015 World Food Day celebration, Oxfam in Nigeria in collaboration with Climate & Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria (CSDevNet) and the African Youth initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) invite journalists, writers and bloggers to send in their entries for the #WomenFoodClimate Storytelling Competition


  • We want you to tell stories that have a strong emotional impact online. They should be easily understandable by all audiences (your family and friends, not policy experts!). They should also be short, so they can be easily read by someone on the bus home from work.
  • Humans of New York is our inspiration.

Story composition

  • Keep them short, 250 words is the maximum (and reaching 250 isn’t a goal you have to aim for!)
  • Start with a quote or a hook (an interesting fact or headline that will catch the reader’s attention).
  • Break your text up into short paragraphs so it is easily readable.
  • When writing you should almost always use active sentences. Think of active words as power words or those that drive a sentence, keep the reader’s attention and move the writing forward e.g. the dog was killed by the lion (passive) The lion killed the dog (Active).
  • Always mention the person’s full name and where they come from (area and country).
  • Include a family situation and personal circumstances where necessary. E.g. Is the individual married, do they have children, are they the head of their household, how do they make a living, do they have any disability or long-term illness, or have they been displaced by climate change disasters?
  • Without going into deep policy, try to link the story clearly to the challenges of climate change.
  • Absolutely no policy jargon! We don’t need to dumb our stories down but if your local shopkeeper can’t understand any of the words in your story, then you need to rewrite it in clearer terms.
  • All stories on social media should link back to our action. At the end of the story you should say something like, but more exciting than, ‘Call on governments to take action for people like [NAME]:

Sourcing stories

  • You can get new stories from your contact with people affected by climate change or from other people you work with. If you are writing a new story, ensure that you get permission to use the person’s story online.
  • You can also repackaged stories that have been used by us before or that are sitting in old policy reports. Just rewrite them in line with the ‘story composition’ guidelines above.
  • The stories can either be written from a first or third person point of view

The image

  • Picking the right image is important, this is the first thing people will see so put some time into this.
  • Is there something dramatic intriguing in your image? A strong contrast or an eye-catching incongruity make for strong images..
  • Brightness:On social media there is a lot of competition for attention, brighter images stand out the most.
  • Engaging: Images with people looking directly at the camera engage the viewer.
  • Resolution: If the image size is too small, then the final image will be pixelated. Make sure it is hi-res.
  • Take and send a minimum of two photos and a maximum of three.


The competition is open to all Nigerian journalists, writers and bloggers.

Contest entry also constitutes an agreement to allow OXFAM/CSDevNet/AYICC to use the material in its publications and in promotional activities. Applicants will retain ownership and all other rights to future use of their material.

If, for any reason, the competition is not completed as planned, OXFAM/CSDevNet/AYICC reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend it.

The decisions made by the panel of judges are final and beyond dispute.
All participants in this competition implicitly accept the rules presented in this document.

Selection Process

Judges will review entries and decide on the winners in the print/web-based and radio categories. The pieces should demonstrate that the author(s) understand the issues outlined above.

Submission Format

i. Entries must be original pieces written in English language only. Please no ‘technical’ language

ii. Each candidate will submit only in word doc or docx format.

iii. Entries are to be submitted by email to

Print word limit: Maximum 250 words.

Font: Arial, 12 point; 1.5 line spacing.


Submission of articles begins on 5th September, 2015.

The deadline for receipt of submissions is September 15, 2015.

Entries received after deadline will not be considered.


1st Prize


Official sponsorship to all CSDevNet events for one year

A package of CSDevNet/PACJA publications

Publication on CSDevNet/OXFAM pages and blogs

Cash prize

2nd Prize


Official sponsorship to all CSDevNet events for six months

Food and climate justice publications

Cash prize

3rd Prize

Official sponsorship to all CSDevNet events for three months

Food and climate justice publications


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