Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators


Winning the People's Choice Award will have you jumping for joy. Image by Andre Hunter. Unsplash licence.

Whether you enter an award yourself or someone else nominates you, taking out a title brings plenty of benefits for the winner. This year’s People’s Choice Awards have prizes for the best — and the worst!

Best confirms that all your hard work was worth it

The highlight of winning our Best Plain English Communication category is probably the public recognition. Winners know that a member of the public thought something they created was a worthy entry for the Awards. And our international panel of judges thought it was the best in its class.

That’s not all though. Winners also receive:

  • a stunning steel and bronze trophy produced for the Awards by Wellington sculptor Campbell Maud
  • a single-use licence for StyleWriter plain English editing software
  • a place on any of Write Limited’s 1-day open workshops.

Worst gives you a chance to turn things around

You might think that anyone ‘unlucky’ enough to win our Brainstrain category would have nothing to be happy about (except perhaps the bag of sour worms they’re given). But that’s definitely not the case. They actually have plenty to celebrate.

Winning the notorious Brainstrain category often acts as a catalyst for organisations to rethink their communications — and ultimately what their audience needs. Winners are forced to take a good hard look at the way they write, and work out how they can improve.

Winners get hugely valuable feedback from our judges about their communication. One previous winner used the feedback to revamp their communication. They did such an impressive job that it won the Best Plain English Turnaround Award the following year.

Winners of the Brainstrain category also receive:

  • the (in)famous Brainstrain rubbish bin filled with sour worms
  • a single-use licence for StyleWriter plain English editing software
  • 2 hours free consultancy from Write Limited to start transforming the document or webpage into plain English
  • a place on any of Write Limited’s 1-day open workshops.

Take a look at past Award winners on our website

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Do you know someone whose writing makes you prickly? Nominate them for the 2019 Brainstrain award.

If you’ve been marking off the days on your calendar, you’ll know the time has come. Nominations for the 2019 People’s Choice Awards opened last Saturday.

Success worth being proud of

What we love about the People’s Choice Awards, and what many of you have told us you love too, is how our winners react to their success. Winners of our People’s Choice Best category are invariably enormously proud — and rightly so! Who wouldn’t be? Your work will have been singled out by a member of the public, judged against other outstanding entries, and deemed by the international judging panel to be the best!

Recognition to take in good humour

What about the winner of our award for the worst communication? Our Worst Brainstrain category recognises a document or website that a member of the public has found confusing, frustrating, obscure, or downright horrible. With all the potential fallout from winning this unenviable title, we love that our winners invariably accept their ‘success’ in good humour. And they see it as an opportunity to start over again, so that their communication serves its audience better.

Check out the acceptance speeches by some past winners of the People’s Choice Worst Brainstrain award:

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