It’s time to celebrate! | Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash
With preparations for our cyber-ceremony in full swing, you can now register your place to attend.
Register for the 2021 Plain English Awards ceremony
What you can look forward to at this year’s event
This year, for the first time, we’re running our celebrations online. While we’ll miss celebrating with people in person, our aim is to make this year’s event super special in its own way.
Our MC James Elliott is bound to delight
Now in his fifth year as MC of the Awards, lawyer and comedian James Elliott is a firm highlight at our ceremonies. James is back this year and guaranteed to entertain.
Find out more about James
Bring your supporters along — we can host more people online
With no limits to seat numbers, we’d love you to invite as many of your supporters to join you at the ceremony as possible. In the past, we’ve often had to limit spaces to 150 people — but that’s not a problem this year!
Our overseas entrants and supporters can easily join us
We’ve always extended an invitation to our ceremony to both our domestic and international supporters. However, often the overseas contingent isn’t able to make it. Happily (and time differences aside), that’s not a problem this year either!
We opened up entries to Australia for the first time this year
Read about our international panel of judges
Celebrate International Plain Language Week at the same time
Our Awards ceremony is right in the middle of International Plain Language Week. This gives you a readymade way to get involved in an international event that celebrates clarity.
So, don’t hang about — register your place at the 2021 Plain English Awards ceremony
Thanks again to our sponsors for their commitment to the (plain language) cause
We have an incredible line-up of sponsors this year. We’d like to thank them all for their support.
Read about this year’s sponsors
Posted In: 2021 Awards ceremony, 2021 Plain English Awards, Australian clear communication awards, Awards ceremony, Communications, Finalists, Judges, People's Choice awards, Plain English Awards
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Looking forward to celebrating this year’s winners | Photo by Universal Eye on Unsplash
Our international panels of judges have settled on this year’s finalists.
Find out which entries made the grade
So, what made an entry good enough to become a finalist this year? Here’s a taste of what our judges had to say:
[The writer] is fighting against engrained writing attitudes, including in [their] company, which is quite courageous.
I found the content incredibly compelling. The language, structure and visual devices beautifully enhance this detailed and informative content.
The combination of plain writing and relevant graphics make [this document] a joy to read.
[This document] is an excellent example of keeping anxious people informed on a critical topic.
We’re now counting down to our virtual Awards ceremony on Thursday, 14 October, where we’ll announce and celebrate this year’s winners.
Find out more about our ceremony plans
See who entered the Awards in 2021
Meet our judges
Posted In: 2021 Plain English Awards, Communications, Finalists
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We’ve got lots to celebrate this year! | Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Join us to celebrate our finalists and winners at our virtual Awards ceremony on Thursday, 14 October.
Our people are at the heart of what we do
Every year we have more people involved in the Awards than you’d expect. Many of these people are behind the scenes and plenty of them not in the limelight.
We love getting lots of our people together at the end of the Awards season to celebrate our finalists and winners, and promote the benefits of clear communication. Our Awards ceremony usually happens in person, but this year we need to think differently.
We’ll celebrate online for 2021
We knew from the outset that we’d need to think laterally when planning for our 2021 ceremony. So, in place of our in-person event, we’re going to run our Awards ceremony online.
We’ll miss being able to applaud our winners in person. At the same time, we’re excited about the many opportunities running an online ceremony gives us. We definitely won’t have a seat limit in 2021! And we’re going to run the ceremony at a time that works better for some our overseas judges and entrants. A flow-on benefit will be that you’ll be able to join during the day if you’re in New Zealand.
Our Awards ceremony is right in the middle of International Plain Language Week too. So you’ve got a readymade way to get involved in an international event that celebrates clarity.
So come along, grab your friends and supporters, and join us at our online Awards ceremony. We’ll have more details for you soon. For now, make sure you pencil in 11am until 1pm on Thursday, 14 October to celebrate with us!
Oh, and did we say that registrations will be free of charge this year? See you in October!
Who’s in the running for an award in 2021?
Huge thanks to our sponsors, who make the Plain English Awards possible
Posted In: 2021 Plain English Awards, Awards ceremony, Communications, Finalists, Judges, People's Choice awards, Plain English Awards, Winners
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The next step in the Awards process is for our judges to do their jobs as they work towards deciding on this year’s finalists and winners | Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash
Entries for the 2021 Plain English Awards have now closed. But that doesn’t mean things have come to a standstill! Quite the opposite, in fact.
Our judges now get to work
We use an online platform called Submittable to accept entries. Submittable is also the place where our judges review each of these entries. Judging is broken down into several different phases as the judges work their way towards agreeing on a shortlist, finalists, and eventually a category winner.
Read about our fabulous judges
Read about the judging process
When you’ll next hear about entries
Good judging takes time. And given that our panels are made up of experts around the world as well as around New Zealand, our judges have the added ‘hurdle’ of communicating across different time zones.
Once our judges do come to agreement, we’ll publicise their shortlist decisions. Judges will then continue their deliberations and we’ll announce this year’s finalists on Thursday, 16 September. And the big announcement — this year’s Plain English Awards winners — will be made on Thursday, 14 October by our media partner, Newsroom.
To add to these broadcasts, our Awards ambassador, Shelly Davies, will talk about our winning entries on nationwide television in the days after the big announcement.
Thanks for your interest in the 2021 Plain English Awards. You’ll be hearing from us again soon. In the meantime, check out the videos in our gallery and share your plain language story!
How you can keep up-to-date
As always, we’ll continue to publish Awards updates in our website blog. You’ll also be able to keep up-to-date through our social media platforms and our newsletter.
Email email@example.com to subscribe to our newsletter.
Follow us on LinkedIn
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Posted In: 2021 Plain English Awards, Communications, Finalists, Judges, Plain English Awards, Shortlists, Winners
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Breathe new life into your documents and make them worthy of the Turnaround Award | Photo by Bryn Parish on Unsplash
What does it take to win the Best Plain Language Turnaround category? What does a winning entry in this category look like?
More than an edit or redesign
A top submission in the Best Plain Language Turnaround category will be more than an edited version of an original document. It’ll be more than a website that has been redesigned. More than information that has been restructured to be more reader-focused. More than information that has been user-tested for its target audience.
Coming from a place of care
A winning entry in the Best Plain Language Turnaround category will include many of the above qualities and then some. Above all, it will clearly have come from a place of care. An individual or team will have looked at the communication and thought, ‘This information is important and the people it’s serving deserve our time to make the information better serve its purpose’. In other words, the writers will be caring for their readers.
What judges have said about previous winning entries
Have a read of what our judges have said about some of our past turnaround winners.
Winner 2018: Infinite Possibilities Limited
‘This is a damn clever turnaround. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.’
‘A remarkable change! You’ve taken a legal document and turned it on its head. It’s brilliantly unconventional, witty, exudes personality, and was a pleasure to read.’
‘The word choice is casual and direct with a very distinct tone. Some people will clearly consider it unbusiness-like and will not do business with this company. Others will find it refreshing and will move forward — exactly the intent to weed out those clients who find it offensive and to sign on those who find it refreshing.’
Winner 2017: Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management
‘This is a terrific turnaround from a dull, wordy website to one that is lively, engaging, and easy to navigate. This organisation has done a great job of using multimedia, and their restructuring of the content works really well.’
‘The scenario-based navigation on the home page is friendly, colourful, and relevant, and this flows well into the more text-heavy pages further down in the site. The scenarios capture the reader’s attention and the short videos are hilarious — a great way to get people involved in thinking through how to be ready for a disaster or emergency.’
‘The layout and formatting are much cleaner, with good use of white space and headings to focus the eye. The tips are helpful and the key messages are brought to the fore much more than in the original. Great work!’
Winner 2015: OSPRI
‘You’ve done a great job with this rewrite. It’s a vast improvement on the original. This is a usable and useful document, which does the job well. Nice work!
Find out more about the Best Plain Language Turnaround category
Posted In: 2021 Plain English Awards, Communications, Plain English Awards, Plain English Turnaround
2021 Plain English Awards, Best Plain English Turnaround, Best turnaround, clarity, clear communication, clear writing, plain language, Turnaround Award, writing for the public, writing for the reader
Calling all our Australian friends: It’s time to celebrate your successes in clear communication | Photo by Karl Anderson on Unsplash
Plain language is important to us here in New Zealand. It’s also a big thing in Australia. At the moment, Australia doesn’t have any awards celebrating clear communication.
Let’s not beat around the bush! After recognising the gap and fielding several enquiries, we’re opening up entries to Australia.
Haere mai, Australian plain language enthusiasts!
We’re excited to now be welcoming entries from any individual or organisation in Australia, as well as New Zealand. You’d just need to meet the same conditions as entrants do here: See our terms and conditions
You’ll also need to be an organisation that’s registered in Australia, or have a registered Australian address.
The standard entry fee for people in Australia will be AUD$125, and AUD$65 for registered charities.
Australian-based entries are welcome for any Awards categories
From Champion Organisation through to Best Plain English Legal Document, people and businesses in Australia are welcome to enter any of our categories. You can also nominate the good and the bad in our two People’s Choice categories: the Best Plain English Communication and the Worst Brainstrain Communication.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get entering!
Entries are open until 31 July
Read about how to enter
Posted In: 2021 Plain English Awards, Australian clear communication awards, Communications, People's Choice awards, Plain English Awards
Best Legal Document, Best Organisation, Best Plain English Communication, Brainstrain, Champion, clear communication, People's Choice Awards, plain English, Plain English Awards
James Elliott asks and answers a common question | Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
As our Awards MC James Elliott recently pointed out in an article on Newsroom, sometimes it’s easier to work out what something is by first working out what it is not.
In the case of plain language, it’s not the passages of writing that leave you scratching your head. Rather, it’s those passages that pass you by unnoticed that are at the heart of plain language.
‘The best example of plain English is a grouping of words that almost passes us by unnoticed because it doesn’t require a second thought or consideration. We understood what it meant the first time around.’
Read James Elliott’s article in praise of plain English
Posted In: 2021 Plain English Awards, Plain English Awards
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We celebrate the generous support of our friends | Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash
One of the goals behind the Awards is to create a fairer society through improving people’s access to important communications. We acknowledge that this is an ambitious goal, but it’s one that moves a step closer to reality with every bit of support we get.
Among our supporters are our judges, who are all expert plain language specialists from around the world. They seem to come back each year even keener to to help us out again!
Adding to this wonderful level of support, our sponsors are all shining examples from the community of individuals and organisations committed to doing good.
Taking care of our printing needs
For 7 years now, the Wellington branch of printing.com has been one of our loyal sponsors. We feel fortunate to have their support. As their commitment to the Awards, printing.com covers all our printing needs for the Plain English Awards.
‘We see the Awards as being extremely important for supporting the government and business sectors as they continuously improve the way they communicate with the general public of New Zealand,’ says Nathan Jennings, business development manager at printing.com.
Thank you printing.com for your ongoing support. We couldn’t do it without you and all our other friends!
Read about printing.com and our other sponsors
Become a sponsor
Posted In: Communications, Judges, Sponsors, Sponsorship
2021 Plain English Awards, Industry awards, judges, Social good, sponsors, Sponsorship
Well done to our patron, Chloe, who was recognised as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2021 New Year Honours List.
We couldn’t be more proud of our generous patron, Chloe Wright. In recognition of her enormous commitment to philanthropy, education, and health, Chloe was awarded an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit at the start of 2021.
An exemplar of kindness and care
In 1996, Chloe and her husband Wayne co-founded BestStart Educare, an early learning education organisation. BestStart is now New Zealand’s largest early learning organisation and is run under the Wright Family Foundation. This foundation provides funds and assistance to improve the educational, emotional, and psychological wellbeing of New Zealanders.
As well as carrying out her philanthropic work through the Wright Family Foundation, Chloe founded Birthing Centre in 2014, which now has four locations. Birthing Centre is a service offering extensive postnatal support to new mothers and their babies. Its vision is to work in partnership with families to effect an informed, active, and natural birthing experience.
Chloe is also patron of SuperGrans Aotearoa, Kids’ Lit Quiz, the New Zealand Spelling Bee … and of course the Plain Language Awards!
Chloe believes passionately in the goals of the Awards. She wants to see plain language as the norm in government and business communication — so that information is clear and easy to access for everyone.
Chloe’s enthusiasm for, and dedication to, all the causes she supports is truly remarkable. Congratulations, Chloe! We’re so grateful for her support as Awards patron.
Meet our Awards patron
Interested in sponsoring?
If you’re interested in supporting the Plain Language Awards, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you, and we’d love to work with you.
Please contact Hellie to find out about sponsor benefits at firstname.lastname@example.org
Become a sponsor
Posted In: 2021 Plain English Awards, Social good, Sponsors, Sponsorship
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The beauty of helping anyone out is in the end result. Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash
Remember the time you helped your cousin learn to ride a bike? Or made your mother breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day? Or picked your friend’s children up from school when your friend got caught in a meeting?
The beauty of helping anyone out is in the end result. It’s the look of exhilaration when you let the bike go and your cousin takes off on his own. The smile on your mother’s face and the appreciation she feels when you treat her. The relief you give your friend, who can finish the meeting he’s in without worrying about his children.
Sponsoring the Awards is like all of these examples. By supporting us to run the Plain English Awards, you’re helping to promote good. Just like the smile on your mother’s face at Mother’s Day, you’ll directly and indirectly be helping to make a difference. That smile will be the equivalent of a patient who understands their medical treatment for the first time. Or someone going through a personal emergency that understands his or her insurance cover immediately.
Sponsoring the Awards shows you support a fairer society
A plain language approach to communication is a radical commitment to putting customers and colleagues first — a culture-changing shift in how society operates. Our sponsors sit alongside us on the journey, adding a new voice to the chorus calling for fair and clear communication from private and public sector organisations. Our sponsors become part of our Awards team.
If you’re interested in supporting the 2021 Plain English Awards, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you, and we’d love to work with you.
Please contact Melissa to find out about sponsor benefits at email@example.com
Become a sponsor
Meet our sponsors
Posted In: 2021 Plain English Awards, Communications, Plain English Awards, Sponsors, Sponsorship
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