With the deadline for this year’s Guild Awards creeping up – just three weeks to go now til the closing date of 6 September – current Beer Writer of the Year and chair of judges Emma Inch shares a few tips for submitting a winning award entry.
- Don’t leave it to the last minute. It’s easy to think “I’ll just upload a few articles”, but it can take longer than expected, especially if you’re scanning in copies of articles, or uploading large audio files, for example. A rushed entry is never a good one, so give yourself time to do it properly.
- Read the awards criteria: overall, judges are looking for work that furthers the Guild’s mission to broaden understanding of beer and pubs, but we’ve also published category-specific guidance. So look through that and think about which pieces of your work stand the best chance of winning.
- More can be less! You can enter up to six pieces of work per category – but each piece can only be entered into two categories. However, one single, brilliant article or broadcast piece stands just as good a chance of winning – and frequently have taken a top prize – so don’t feel you have to ‘stuff’ your entry to succeed!
- Check your work qualifies. We’re looking for work published between 1st September 2018 and 31 August 2019. For the Young Beer Writer category, you need to be 35 or younger on 31 August this year, and for the Citizen Communicator award, only people who don’t receive payment for any of their beer or pub communication should apply.
- Help the judges to read, view or listen to your work. Make sure scans are legible and if you’re providing links, check that they’re still working. With hundreds of pieces of work to review, we really don’t have time to go searching the web for your entry!
- Plan ahead – and we mean ahead! Some of the serial winners in our Awards are thinking about which work to enter for which category throughout the year, so they’re not scratching their heads a week before deadline! And with some of our more specialist awards, like the newly-launched Carlsberg UK Award for Best Writing about Sustainability in Beer and Pubs, writing an article and getting it published, will take some time – so best to start early.
On the plus side, entering the Awards is a great way to see just how hard you’ve worked over the past year. So once you’ve pressed ‘submit’, give yourself a metaphorical pat on the back, pour yourself a beer and wait for the shortlist to be announced in November.
And good luck – I’m looking forward to reading, listening to, and watching the entries!
For the Awards criteria, guidance and entry form, visit https://www.beerguild.co.uk/awards/