Good, better, best: it's over to the judges to decide | Photo by Canstock
Thanks to all who entered this year’s Awards! After a flurry of last-minute entries, we have handed everything over to our intrepid judging team. All 36 of them!
This year a third of the judges are from New Zealand and the rest are from the US, UK, Australia, and Europe. All are accomplished plain language experts and strong advocates for Ernest Gowers’ advice: ‘Be short, be simple, be human’.
How do our expert independent judges pick their winners? It’s a big job so we thought you’d like to know a bit more about it.
First up, shortlisting
First, our judges read over each entry, carefully checking against the plain language criteria. Then they vote on their shortlist. This all happens independently in the Submittable system, which allows ‘thumbs-up, thumbs-down’ voting.
Next, judges do a detailed review of all entries, writing comments for each of the assessment criteria. Each panel works hard to make sure feedback is balanced, fair, and helpful. The goal at this stage is to recognise and affirm great writing and to help entrants do even better by making suggestions and giving examples for improvement.
We know that entrants really value the expert feedback. For some, it’s the best aspect of entering! Submittable calculates scores for each of the criteria and averages them across the judging panel to help the panel agree on a few contenders for the category awards.
Last, picking the finalists and winners
Now the judges deliberate as a team to pick their finalists and winners — quite a logistics exercise with judges living all over the globe! The deliberation stage can involve lots of lively debate, especially when many entries are of a very high standard!
When judges need to choose between two excellent entries, it usually comes down to impact. Entries where the work has made the greatest positive impact will usually triumph.
When all is agreed, lead judges review the written comments for all shortlisted entries to make extra sure that the comments are clear and helpful.
So if you entered this year, good luck! Regardless of the outcome, you’ve done a good thing and your users are thanking you! (A trophy is good too of course!)
How the judging process works
Judges for the 2022 Plain Language Awards
Posted In: 2022 Plain Language Awards, Judges, Shortlists
clear communication, judges, plain language, Plain Language Awards
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe to our newsletter.
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Posted In: 2021 Plain English Awards, Communications, Finalists, Judges, Plain English Awards, Shortlists, Winners
2021 finalists, 2021 Plain English Awards, 2021 shortlists, 2021 winners, clear communication, judges
A beautiful handmade trophy is one of several prizes in store for Accuro Health Insurance. Image by A Beautiful Photo
After the first phase of judging in this year’s People’s Choice Awards, our two expert judging panels have agreed on their shortlists.
Who made it to our Best shortlist?
The following nominations have been shortlisted for our People’s Choice — Best Plain English Communication Award:
Who made it to our Worst shortlist?
The following nominations have been shortlisted for our People’s Choice — Worst Brainstrain Award:
- Auckland City Council — Proposed Plan Change letter
- Christchurch City Council — Te Wai Ora o Tāne Draft Integrated Water Strategy
- Rabo Capital Securities Limited — Redemption Notice letter
What happens next
Our judges will review all shortlisted entries in greater detail. They’ll then decide on this year’s finalists.
We’ll announce the finalists on Thursday, 17 October.
Our media partner, Newsroom, will announce this year’s winners on their website on Thursday, 28 November.
Posted In: 2019 People's Choice Awards, Brainstrain, Shortlists
Brain Strain Award, clear thinking, clear writing, improved writing, Industry awards, jargon, jargon-busting, People's Choice Awards, writing for the public
Deciding on our shortlists was no mean feat. Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash.
From what we’ve heard from our judges, finalising this year’s shortlists has been no mean feat. We received many outstanding entries from across both the public and private sectors. We’re thrilled to announce which of those entries made our shortlists.
Take a look at our 2018 shortlists
We’ll make our next big announcement — this year’s finalists — some time around 19 October. Watch this space!
Posted In: 2018 Plain English Awards, Judges, Shortlists
2018 Plain English Awards, 2018 shortlists, clear communication, Industry awards
We'll let our 'shortlist' cats out of the basket tomorrow, Thursday, 20 September. Image by Eric Han. Unsplash licence.
Over the past 2 weeks our judges have been busy reviewing all of this year’s entries. We’ll let the first ‘shortlist’ cats out of the bag (or basket) tomorrow, so watch this space.
In the meantime we can let you in on some of the feedback we’ve had about this year’s entries. Here’s what one judge told us:
I’m pleased to report we have many excellent entries (quality lifts every year, which is fabulous) and it’s tricky coming up with a shortlist.
Posted In: 2018 Plain English Awards, Plain English Awards, Shortlists
2018 Plain English Awards, 2018 shortlists, Champion