Writing an Award-Worthy Entry

You’ve done the hard work already; you have an outstanding story to tell and now you need to get it down on paper.  Use the following ENA tips to help structure your award entry.

The Basics

  • Word count – there is a limit of 1,000 words within your entry form.  This should be clear and structured with a focus on the heart of the project, campaign or work so that the judge can immediately identify this.  Supporting evidence should be used to back up your points and give additional information that may not fit within the core of the submission.
  • Read the entry form – there are specific instructions detailed on the entry form, which are there to help you to answer the correct questions. The scoring criteria is weighted across each section so failing to include elements will affect your score. 
  • Selecting the right category – It is worth reading the criteria for each category before deciding where to submit your entry.  If you are struggling to make the project fit, chances are this isn’t in line with the requirements.  Do not enter the same entry from into multiple categories – judges will highlight this in their scoring.  The judges will score each entry against the category that has been selected, so it is important to double check that this is correct before submission.
  • Title your entry as you wish to see it published on the trophy should you win – this is the first field on every entry form.  We will use this wording for all publishing so please ensure it is correct – shortlists, event materials, press and trophies.  Please structure your title in the following format:
    “Institution Name & Client Name – Campaign or Project Name” or just “Institution Name” for institutional awards
  • Choose the right contact within your institution – think carefully about who will be the main point of contact for the awards.  The team will need to liaise with someone regarding event details such as key deadlines, entry wording and the awards night so it’s important to assign this to someone who can make those decisions.
  • Supporting evidence is key – Entries need to be able to present tangible findings with statistics to evidence to the points provided.  Judges will not research around entry submissions, therefore everything that you may want them to know needs to be provided.  If you are entering the MPR award, supporting video evidence is a mandatory requirement.

Battling Writer’s Block

  • Don’t leave it to the last minute – give yourself enough time to draft and tweak your submission.  You may need to liaise with other departments or carry out research to support your entry.  It helps to use bullet points to map out an easy structure for the judges, before fleshing out the form.
  • We know if it’s rushed – it’s important to give your entry the time it deserves in order to really showcase your work.  If you need more time, get in touch to see how we can help – Georgina.jones@whyevents.co.uk.
  • Spelling and grammar – judges will take spelling, grammar and writing structure into consideration when scoring.  It’s worth asking someone to proofread your work to ensure everything makes sense and sounds the way you intended.

Keep it Relevant

  • Provide what is required – this seems simple enough but isn’t always evident within entries.  Your submission can be well written and structured, however if it lacks relevance to the category or is weak
  • It’s important to avoid submitting the same entry across categories – judges will score across multiple categories and will pick up on duplicate entries.  More often than not, the entry will fail to align to each criteria and will be deemed a “duplication” leading to low scores. If one project or person is being nominated for different things, don’t forget to tailor each of the entries submitted.

Fill in the Gaps

  • Judges are only able to score based on the details provided – although the panel is made up of knowledgeable individuals within or linked to the education sector, they are unable to carry out extensive research around institutions, projects or individuals.  Be sure to include the relevant information within the form and as much supporting evidence as you can.
  • Data – this will strengthen any entry and give credibility to your work.
  • Supporting evidence!

Quality not Quantity

Avoid submitting entries for the sake of it – duplicate entries submitted across multiple categories is not the recipe for high scores.  

How to Submit Your Entry

  • Visit educatenorth.co.uk to study the categories and download your entry form.  You can also find the rules for entry here.
  • Upload your complete entry form and supporting evidence via the online portal here.
  • The entry deadline is Friday, 19 January 2024.
  • If you need any further information or help, contact Georgina.jones@whyevents.co.uk