Since The Pulitzer Prizes changed the rules to allow online and print magazines, the contest has seen a 50 percent increase in investigative entries compared to last year, Mike Pride, the administrator of The Pulitzer Prizes, said in an email.

Feature submissions, meanwhile, have seen a 21 percent increase, Pride said. The number of entries for all categories, which usually number around 1,100, this year totals 1,191.

Investigative reporting entries, which last year totaled 75, this year number 112, Pride said. Feature submissions, which numbered 127 in 2014, increased to 154.

In December, The Pulitzer Prizes announced it was opening the competition to online and print magazines for the first time. Pride told Poynter at the time that the change was meant to recognize an increasing amount of magazines reporting under tighter deadline pressure. The Prizes expected an increase in submissions after announcing the rule change, which Pride said was an effort to keep in step with the changing journalism industry.

Only magazines that adhere to the "highest journalistic principles" were allowed to apply, according to the December announcement. The magazines also had to publish at least weekly and focus primarily on "original news reporting and coverage of ongoing stories.”

The increased number of submissions is encouraging, Pride said.

"I think the numbers alone are an indication that this experiment is working," he said.

The next step in the selection process is juried judging, which will whittle the submissions down to three from each category. The winners will be announced on April 20, said Sabina Lee, a spokesperson for The Pulitzer Prizes.