Guardian launches GuardianWitness awards

The Guardian has announced the launch of the inaugural GuardianWitness awards in partnership with digital communications company, EE.

The Guardian says: These unique awards aim to celebrate outstanding contributions by Guardian users through the GuardianWitness app and desktop site.

Launched April 2013 in partnership with EE, GuardianWitness empowers users to share their own videos, images and stories with GuardianWitness, putting users at the heart of the Guardian's award-winning journalism and reporting.

A panel of judges, comprising Guardian and Observer editors and other key figures in media, science and technology, will assess submissions in eleven categories:

* News contribution of the Year Award

* Award for a series of contributions

* The Bigger Picture Award

* Human interest Award

* Pet of the Year Award

* Best Original Still Award

* Funniest contribution of the Year Award

* Food Award

* Original Short Film Award

* Science Award

* EE Contributor of the Year Award

In order to contribute content to GuardianWitness, users will need to create an account, either through their existing Guardian account or through their Facebook and Twitter profiles. GuardianWitness content can also be shared by users on Facebook and Twitter.

All content submitted via GuardianWitness on or before 20 January 2014 will be eligible for consideration in the awards. This includes any content already submitted since launch.

Winners will receive a specially designed trophy to acknowledge their success, which will be awarded at a ceremony in London in March 2014. Winners in the Science and EE Contributor of the Year categories will also receive an Apple iPad Air.

Laura Oliver, Social and community editor at Guardian News and Media, said: "GuardianWitness is a fantastic example of the Guardian's commitment to open journalism and digital innovation, and the awards are a celebration of all the brilliant contributions from our readers. We have a great community of people who use GuardianWitness and the awards are a fantastic opportunity to showcase their quality, diversity and impact."

Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at EE said: "We're looking forward to congratulating the winners in March and celebrating the GuardianWitness highlights of 2013. It's a fantastic and innovative partnership with benefits right across the board. Open journalism has thrived on the public's ability to document and share news as it happens, quicker than ever before, and our record-breaking roll out of 4G across the country supports this growing trend.

"GuardianWitness offers the perfect platform to bring the EE brand and our superfast broadband to life, whilst supporting ground-breaking digital development and open journalism."

The GuardianWitness iPhone app is available from the Apple App Store and the Android app can be downloaded from Google Play.