Knowing these 14 tips will make your entry to Awards look great

Awards are a good way to raise your profile as a creative, whether you are an individual artist, a professional freelancer or representing an organisation.

When writing your application, it is crucial to get your achievements across in a clear and compelling way, whilst including all the information that the jury members need to assess your it. We put together some ideas to increase your chances of a successful entry.

  1. Follow the guidelines
    Obvious, but not reading the guidelines and the judging criteria often leads applicants to make mistakes that invalidate their applications. Things like making sure you are eligible, keeping to the word count or sending correct file format/size do count…
  2. Be positive and confident
    You are more likely to convince a jury panel with your achievements if you believe in yourself and enter awards with a view to win. Be proud of your achievements.
  3. Do some research
    Check out the organisation behind the Awards you are entering. What is their mission? Their vision? Do their fit with your own?
    Look at previous years’ awards, the finalists and the winners. Is there anyone you know? Talk to them and get their feedback.
    Check the jury panel: you will write your entry for them, make sure you know who they are and adapt your communication.
  4. Motivate yourself
    Look for images and videos that show previous ceremonies so you can immerse yourself in the atmosphere.
  5. Start working on your application early
    It takes time and effort to write a good application, so don’t leave it too late and risk to neglect it.
  6. If you are applying as an organisation, get your team involved
    Make sure your team members know that you are entering awards.  Get their views and their support.
  7. Make sure you provide relevant answers to the questions
    It is tempting to expand beyond the frame of a question and write something you want to say although you are not being asked. If this is the case, don’t write it in the form, but add it to your supporting documents.
  8. Keep it simple
    Write in clear and plain English, avoid jargon, acronyms and unclear sentences.
  9. Tell your story
    This is the most powerful way to get across the jury panel. Jury members will like a good story, so keep them hooked. You can talk about your background, what motivates you, share the challenges you have overcome and how you got to where you are. 
    Also provide useful information so the jury panel understand the details of your entry:
    . Who your work is made for;
    . How it is financed; how you manage your budget;
    . Who else is involved; which support you receive from others;
    . Who benefit from your activities?
    . How many people attend your events?
    . Etc…
  10. Provide evidence
    Members of the jury panel will not believe what you say, just because you say it.  Attach additional material as evidence to support your entry, such as statistics, numbers (specific), videos, promotional material, evaluation reports (how you measure your success), feedback & testimonials from those who benefit from your activities etc… to illustrate what you have achieved.
  11. Good quality images
    Use images to illustrate your story and make a point. They can be photographs of your activities, drawings, diagrams/tables… Make sure they are of good quality (bad quality images can do more harm than good!) and relevant.
  12. Get friends’ feedback
    Ask your friends to go through your entry. Whether they know what you do or not, they will have different views and bring different perspectives in.
  13. Pay attention to the presentation
    A poorly written or designed application looks bad. Make sure it looks clean and elegant; and your supporting documents too.
    Proof check your application. Spelling mistakes look bad too.
  14. Submit your application before the deadline. 
    It’s obvious, but many awards organisations will not allow any delay. If you can, it’s even better to send your application several days before the deadline. Entering early will show a better organisation than a last minute entry.

In the end, remember that if you don’t win this time, you will learn from the experience. You can try again. With different entries, different judges and different trends, awards are not the same every year. 

Enter the Kent Creative Awards now from HERE. Deadline is 24th January 2017.

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