Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators


Write Ltd. are proud sponsors of this year's People's Choice Awards. Image by Romain Vignes. Unsplash licence.

Like all great things, the Plain English Awards only exist because of the combined vision and ongoing commitment of a group of valuable supporters.

Many hands make light work

At the beginning of our 14-year history, it took a group of passionate professionals, led by Write Limited founder and CEO Lynda Harris, to develop the idea of the Awards and get them started.

Over the course of our history, we’ve relied on various supporters to help us maintain our momentum and keep us working towards our goals. Some have joined us for short periods of time; others have been with us from the start. Check out this year’s sponsors.

Write Limited is one of those long-standing supporters. New Zealand’s premier plain language consultancy, Write is also our founding sponsor. Write believes in using the power of words for good, so sponsoring the Awards fits perfectly with that purpose.
Find out more about why Write chooses to support the Plain English Awards every year

Discover the benefits of sponsorship

Curious about the benefits that sponsoring the Plain English Awards brings to your organisation? Please get in touch — we’d love to discuss sponsorship options with you.

Contact Awards project manager Melissa Mebus on, or call 04 384 6447 if you’d like to sponsor the Awards.



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Care about clarity? The People's Choice Awards are for you! Image by Alyssa Stevenson. Unsplash licence.

The People’s Choice Awards are the perfect opportunity for all organisations to get recognition for their clear communications.

Are you comfortable shouting from the rooftops about your fabulously clear documents? Or do you keep your clear communications a best-kept secret — just for your customers?

Whether you’re a tall poppy or a shrinking violet, the Plain English Awards are a great way to get recognition for all the great work you’re doing to make New Zealand a country of clarity.

How does your document or webpage get nominated for an Award?

You can’t enter it yourself — it’s up to members of the public to do that. That’s why they’re called the People’s Choice Awards, of course! But you’re more than welcome to point them in the right direction.

Shout from the rooftops

Have you got a great document that you think is worthy of the Best Communication Award? Why not use social media to let the world know. If people think your document is a great example of clear communication, they can nominate it in the Awards.

Encourage your customers

Let your customers know through your newsletters and website that you’d love them to show how much they admire your document by nominating it in the People’s Choice.

It’s free to nominate

Nominations are free of charge for the People’s Choice Awards. Here’s how people can nominate for the Best Communication Award

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What happens to the documents you've nominated once they're entered? Image by Lorie Shaull. Flickr licence.

Submitting your entry in this year’s People’s Choice Awards is one thing. What happens to your entry after that is another.

Your nomination joins the list so experts can decide who’s best and worst

After you submit a nomination, it joins a catalogue of other entries in our professional submission platform Submittable, where it’ll sit until entries officially close. Soon after that, the Awards administrators open up entries for the Best and Worst categories to their respective judging panels.

Our judges then sort through entries to come up with a shortlist, followed by a more in-depth assessment to create a list of finalists.
Finally, the judges decide which entries are our ultimate winners. This year’s winners will be announced on Thursday, 28 November.

The judges assess the entries using plain English criteria

Because our Awards are all about plain English, our judges use specific criteria to decide which entries are best and which are worst. These criteria are based on the following aspects of clear communication:

  • Purpose
  • Structure
  • Usability (for websites)
  • Headings and main messages
  • Paragraphs
  • Sentences
  • Words
  • Layout and presentation

Read more about our judging criteria
Find out how to nominate communications

Thanks to the Wellington band Fly My Pretties for being the inspiration for our blog title! Visit their website

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Consumer NZ wants the best for New Zealand communication. Image by Daria Nepriakhina. Unsplash licence.

The Plain English Awards and Consumer NZ have something very important in common — we both want what’s best for New Zealanders.

The Plain English Awards is a not-for-profit charity that aims to raise the bar for clear communication. We want everyday New Zealanders to understand what’s written for them.

Consumer NZ is a non-profit organisation dedicated to getting New Zealanders a fairer deal. So it’ll be no surprise that Consumer NZ is a long-term supporter of the Plain English Awards. In particular, Consumer NZ has supported our People’s Choice categories for many years.

Consumer’s Chief Executive, Sue Chetwin, has been a member of our judging panel for several years, focusing specifically on our People’s Choice categories. She’s returning again this year as one of the panel judging our Worst Brainstrain category.

We’re sure you’ll join us too by nominating the best and the worst communications you find in your daily life. All of us want New Zealanders to be able to make legal, financial, health, and all sorts of other decisions with ease.

Take a look at what Consumer NZ has to say about this year’s People’s Choice Awards

Find out how to nominate documents here

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