Major changes are coming to the 2013 Gold Quill Awards program!

Last April, volunteers polled IABC members to determine the overall awareness of the Gold Quill Awards, reasons for entering or not entering, the program’s perceived value and the preferred channels and vehicles for communicating about the awards. The research also gauged support for a longer entry period, a streamlined entry process, better tools for entrants and a wider selection of divisions and categories.

Briefly, survey respondents told IABC that they wanted the following changes:

  • More consistent and fair evaluation
  • Better feedback
  • An easier entry process
  • Better entry materials that clearly define expectations and help entrants prepare successful entry
  • An extended entry period to encourage entrants from various geographic locations to participate
  • A broader offering that mirrors the scope and breadth of the communication industry

The Gold Quill committee and staff have taken this feedback seriously while moving ahead with an offering that’s more relevant and serves the needs and expectations of members and all communication professionals.

To that end, program leaders have made the following changes:

  • Elimination of first-tier evaluation for entries
    All entries will be reviewed by one of five trained and highly qualified regional Blue Ribbon Panels, to be held in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia and South Africa.

  •  A new score sheet that ensures entrants will receive thoughtful feedback on every section of their work plan and work sample
    The revised score sheet is more objective and intuitive for both evaluators and entrants.

  • A minimum training requirement for everyone who evaluates entries
    The International Executive Board approved a new designation for IABC awards evaluators – International Awards Evaluator in Good Standing. More information on how you can earn this designation will be available in October.

  • A new online approach
    The 2013 program has moved online for both entrants and evaluators, allowing entrants to save time and money.

  • A simplified the entry process
    The entry process has been simplified by integrating the Communication Skills and Communication Creative divisions, and by standardizing the maximum number of pages (four) for work plans across all divisions and categories.

  • A longer entry period
    A longer entry period – from October through early March – will provide more time to prepare an entry.

  • Enhanced entry tools
    Available tools will continue to include webinars for entrants and a new guide that clearly spells out the expectations of evaluators. A new guide for entrants, “The Midas Touch – How to Prepare a Gold Quill Entry,” will take you through entry preparation and allow you to check your work against the evaluation standards before you submit it. The guide will be available on the IABC website in October.

  • New divisions and categories
    Broadened and revised the divisions and categories ensure that the program is relevant for more communication professionals.

In addition, the existing mentorship program will continue, offering one-on-one coaching at no cost to entrants.

Watch for the 2013 Call for Entries, which will be mailed and/or available for download soon. The Call for Entries will outline these important changes, and a new dedicated website scheduled to go live in October ( will provide more details.

If you have questions or comments, please send them to