BRITISH GUILD OF BEER WRITERS AWARDS 2013 - NOTES TO ENTRANTS
Aim of the awards
The aim of the Guild of Beer Writers is ‘to extend the public knowledge and appreciation of beer and pubs.’ Our awards are more than a self-congratulatory pat on the back. They’re about helping beer and pubs gain the recognition they deserve.
There are seven categories in the awards. In the four categories for writing in specific media (eg national publications) and in the Travel Bursary, we present a Gold and Silver award, while in the Beer and Food Writing and Corporate Communications categories we make one Gold award.
- Molson Coors’ Award for Best Writing in National Publications
Prize: Gold £1,000 & Silver £500
For the best writing or broadcasting aimed at a general audience, published in the national (and international) press, consumer magazines, books, national television and radio.
- Adnams Award for Best Writing in Regional Publications
Prize £1,000 & £500
For the best writing or broadcasting aimed at a specific local or regional audience, published in local and regional newspapers, magazines, radio, television and CAMRA newsletters.
- Fuller’s ESB Award for Best Writing for the Beer and Pub Trade
Prize £1,000 & £500
For the best writing or broadcasting on the subject of beer and pubs in a trade, business-to-business or intra-company publication.
- Brains SA Gold Award for Best Use of Online Media
£1,000 & £500
For the best use of blogs, websites and social media, whether that be writing or use of other tools such as video or social networking.
- Greene King IPA Travel Bursary
Prizes: Gold £1,000 and Silver £500
For the best travel-themed beer writing (or beer-themed travel writing) or broadcasting. Entries can be from national, local or regional media, books, trade publications or online
- Shepherd Neame 1698 Award for Beer and Food Writing
One prize only, £1,000
For the best writing or broadcasting on the subject of matching beer with food and/or cooking with beer. Entries can be from national, local or regional media, books, trade publications or online.
- Thwaites Award for Corporate Communications – prize trophy to the winner
For the best writing/communication in a corporate environment. Entries can be for in-house or customer magazines internal or external websites, corporate films/video blogs. This award, introduced in 2011, recognises the excellent work to promote beer which is produced by or on behalf of brewers, pub companies and other related organisations.
This award can be won by an individual writer/communicator or by an organisation. The winner of the Corporate Communications category is not considered for the overall Beer Writer of the Year Award.
Who can enter?
- Despite the title, the awards are open not just to writers, but to anyone who communicates about beer. This includes (but is not limited to) journalists, professional writers, authors, bloggers, poets, illustrators, filmmakers, broadcasters and photographers.
- You don’t have to be a member of the Guild to enter.
- Most people enter their own work but if you’re an editor, publisher or other third party you can also enter someone else’s work on their behalf.
- The awards are not limited to work published in the United Kingdom.
- The only people who cannot enter are the judges
What do you have to do to win?
It’s entirely up to the judging committee what wins, and no one can predict what will do well. But the winning entries tend to have certain shared qualities:
If you’re not that interested in your subject, it’s doubtful you’ll persuade anyone else to be. We’re not saying you should rant and rave, but in the best writing, the love of beer and pubs is obvious – and infectious.
This is relative of course – the big themes in beer and pubs are written about year after year. But the awards reward fresh perspectives. Knowledge and authority about the subject might seem essential, but can be beaten by an inspiring cry from the heart from a new arrival to the world of beer.
- Clarity and readability
In order to communicate well, you need to communicate clearly. It helps enormously if you are clear, engaging and accessible.
Entering your work
Number of entries: entries are limited to six pieces of work per category. You may enter as many categories as you wish, but you may only enter any one piece of work into a maximum of TWO categories. If you’re lucky enough to win one category, your work in other categories will not be judged – you can only win one. The judges reserve the right to move work between different categories if appropriate.
- Quality, not quantity: please enter between one and six pieces of work in each category. If you write a great deal, you’re encouraged to think about your very best work – one great piece stands a better chance than six averagely good ones. If you’re not prolific, don’t worry – in past years writers submitting one lone article have won a gold tankard.
- If you’re a blogger, the judges will take a look at the overall blog, but in line with the above guidelines, please provide printed copies of up to six posts that you feel best represent your work.
- Qualifying period
Work must have been published or broadcast between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 to be eligible for an Award.
We welcome entries from beer writers and communicators for their own work. Equally, we are delighted to receive nominations from third parties. So, if you have come across a press article, book or blog about beer that has impressed you, please think about nominating it.
Entering your own work
Please complete the attached entry form and send TWO COPIES of it, together with TWO COPIES of each piece of your work per category. If you’re entering the on-line category, we need print outs of your work – a list of URLs cannot be accepted! We require FOUR copies of any non-paper entries – ie books, DVDs and CDs.
Nominating other people’s work
The process for entering is the same as for self-entered works, though you should complete the attached NOMINATION form rather than entry form. Please note that we ask that if possible the nominee is advised that their work is being submitted and is able to confirm that it is all his or her original work. Please submit the required number of copies as for self-entrants.
Address for entries and deadline
British Guild of Beer Writers Annual Awards
c/o ShielPorter Communications
44 Hurst Road
Contact: email@example.com or 07841 694137.
Entries can be returned if accompanied with a self-addressed, stamped envelope or packaging.
Who are the judges?
There are a minimum of four judges, who change every year. Traditionally, the Beer Writer of the Year from the previous year selects and chairs the judging panel. They can choose whomever they wish, but generally the panel does not consist solely of beer experts – quite deliberately. A mix of brewers, other professionals from the drinks trade, fellow beer writers, other food and drink writers, and commissioning editors from national and trade publications gives a balance of beer expertise and the ability to spot great writing.
Announcement of the winners
The winners will be announced at the British Guild of Beer Writers annual awards dinner, to be held on Thursday 5th December in London. We welcome all entrants to attend this dinner, which has become one of the most popular fixtures in the brewing industry calendar. Tickets will be available for sale on the Guild website.