2020 World Food Day Storytelling Award

Students at 2019 World Food Day at the FAO in Rome


Tell an inspiring story about transforming our food system

Enter to win the 2020 World Food Day Storytelling Award

There is no story more gripping than that of our changing planet — and the solutions to sustain it. Now, with a pandemic thrown into the mix, the challenges we are facing worldwide have an even greater sense of urgency. One of the most critical challenges to humanity? Feeding the planet. 

The World Food Day Storytelling Award recognizes and rewards the best and most compelling student-told stories about the ways society can transform its food system to end all forms of malnutrition, and make healthier diets accessible to everyone.

In partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Liaison Office for North America, we invite students to report on the ideas and innovations being explored on the topics of malnutrition, food accessibility, food systems, and how COVID-19 may be affecting — or inspiring — change. (Read more about World Food Day.)

Story format

  • Article: Include interviews with 2-3 primary sources, and construct a compelling narrative with a clear story arc through these sources. Articles should be 800-1,000 words and feature a minimum of 1 horizontal image. Your image can be provided with permission from your source or public domain, but it preferably should be authored by you. Essays and opinion pieces are not permitted.

  • Audio/Podcast: All audio submissions must be 3-15 minutes, HD quality, and uploaded to an embeddable media platform, such as SoundCloud. All audio submissions should include a written summary (100-200 words) describing the piece, but not be a direct transcription of it, and have at least one horizontal photograph, which can be provided with permission from your source or public domain, but preferably authored by you.

How should you craft your story?

Be bold, creative, and use the tools of the trade. We recommend incorporating one or more of the following into your piece:

  • Compelling characters: The story of a character, working to move the planet forward, and told in an engaging way, is one of the key elements to a great story.

  • Creative storytelling: Tell your innovation story in a creative way.

  • Science or data storytelling: Delve into explanatory storytelling - use science or data to tell the story behind an innovation or idea to move the planet forward. Explore using metaphor, revealing a discovery as if you were solving a mystery.

  • An innovation story: Focus your piece on a scalable and/or inspiring innovation that has a great chance to change the world.



  • First place – $300
  • Second place – $200
  • Third place – $100


Storyfest entries will be judged in four areas:

  1. Creativity and effectiveness of chosen format(s);

  2. Excellence in written/verbal communication and/or technical and production skill;

  3. Factual accuracy, including attribution of facts, data and quotes, and superior research that considers different perspectives; and

  4. Overall potential impact of the featured idea.

All submitted work will be reviewed by a team of editorial experts at Planet Forward.

Story Eligibility & Deadline

Any story submitted on PlanetForward.org between Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, 12:00 am ET, and the deadline to submit stories, EXTENDED to Monday, Oct. 26, 2020 at 11:59 pm ET, is eligible for the World Food Day Storytelling Award.



  1. Review the Official Rules, then log into your PlanetForward.org account, or create a new one.

  2. Draft your story on the Planet Forward website.

  3. At the bottom of the page, check the “This is an FAO entry” checkbox and complete the entry form questions. 

  4. Change your story status to “Needs Review,” and hit “Save.” You’re done!

Need help? Email editor@planetforward.org.