Members of the public can praise a paragon of clarity or put forward a perplexing paper in the People’s Choice category of the Plain English Awards.
You can enter documents and websites for two awards:
The Brainstrain typically gets a lot of publicity. But even the winners of this category can turn the event into something positive. By shining a spotlight on entries in this category, Award organisers hope the entries will be rewritten in beautifully plain English.
The winners of the Best Plain English Communication can share news of their win. They receive a logo to display on the winning publication and their email footer. They’ll also often have people blowing their trumpet for them — take a look at what stuff.co.nz had to say about last year’s winner, the Wellington City Council.
People nominate documents from likely and unlikely places.
The Wellington City Council’s newsletter Our Wellington Tō Tātou Pōneke won the ‘Best’ award in 2017. Judges said vibrant design and friendly language made the document appealing. ‘Successfully combines drier council initiatives with more exciting information on events.’
In 2016, a paper from researchers NZIER with the forbidding title ISDS and Sovereignty won. It succinctly explained a key point of contention in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It was ‘a breath of fresh air to readers used to struggling through lengthy, jargon-filled advisory documents’, said the judges.
KiwiSaver documents have won both the ‘Best’ and ‘Brainstrain’ awards.
You have until 3 September to enter a website or document. You need to submit an electronic copy of the entry — so if you’re entering a printed document, you’ll need to scan it.
Your identity will not be revealed to the organisations you nominate, or to the judges.