2016 Quills Frequently Asked Questions

Download a PDF of the 2016 Quills Frequently Asked Questions.

What do the Quill Awards recognise?

The Quill Awards promote and recognise excellence in Victorian journalism.

When do entries close?

Entries close 5pm, Thursday 2 February 2017.

Are there any changes to the Quill Awards this year?

Yes. The Melbourne Press Club undertook an extensive review of Quill award categories in 2016. These new categories reflect the increasingly multi-platform nature of journalism today, and give particular attention to recognising fresh talent and creativity.

To see a full list of this year’s categories, visit the ‘Quills categories, rules & criteria’ page on the MPC website.

Who is eligible to enter the Quill Awards?

To enter the Quill awards, the Entrant must meet one of the following criteria:

  • be employed by a Victorian media organisation;
  • work primarily in Victoria; or
  • have been sent from Victoria on specific interstate or overseas assignment(s) for a Victorian media organisation.

"Victorian media organisation" refers to an organisation that conducts substantial publishing or broadcasting activities in the State of Victoria.

The judges use their discretion in determining that entries have sufficient connection to Victoria. Each entry must also be judged to have 'sufficient connection' to Victoria.

How much does it cost to enter the Awards?

The Melbourne Press Club charges a $95 administrative fee for each entry to the Quill awards. Financial members of the Club are eligible for one free entry. During the online application process, please choose the ‘free entry’ option in the payment section. Your membership status and entry history will be checked by the Melbourne Press Club secretariat.

For group entrants to redeem this free member entry offer, all involved parties must be financial members of the Melbourne Press Club.

To sign up for a Melbourne Press Club membership before you enter the Quills, click here. If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact the Club at admin@melbournepressclub.com or 03 9614 2779.

How long does the online entry process take?

You should allow approximately 15 - 25 minutes to complete the entry form online. Your progress will not be saved if you close your awards entry before it is finished, so please ensure you complete your submission in one sitting.

We recommend you prepare your supporting statement before starting the entry process, and also that you do not leave it to the last day to make your entry. High demand on the website can lead to slower processing times and staff will have less capacity to provide assistance where necessary.

What do I need to submit my work for a Quill Award?

You will need to provide:

  • Your contact details
  • A headshot photo (minimum size 500kb and maximum 3MB)
  • The name of your employer or media organisation, if appropriate
  • The category you are entering
  • The title of the work, the date of publication or broadcast and the publication or digital platform it appeared in. (Because you can submit up to three pieces as part of an entry - and up to 8 pieces in the Best Coverage of an Issue or Event category - you may need to list several different titles, dates and durations. There will be space for this.)
  • The name and contact details of a professional contact who commissioned or who endorses your work
  • A supporting statement of no more than 400 words explaining the significance of the work and how it was executed
  • Uploaded files of the work (PDF or JPGs) or links to online stories or to where they are hosted on platforms such as SoundCloud or YouTube
  • Your credit card details if you are not a member of the Melbourne Press Club and need to pay the entry fee or if you are a Press Club member making a second or subsequent entry.

For further information, please refer to the rules and criteria. Each category has different requirements in terms of uploading material and are listed in the latter half of the rules.

We recommend having as much information available before you commence your entry registration to avoid encountering a system time-out if a page is left open for long periods. 

Have all materials to be uploaded readily available and saved in the correct format (eg.pdf)

What do I include in my supporting statement?

The supporting statement is an opportunity for entrants to explain the significance of their work, how it was produced, and further considerations that make your entry worthy of a Quill Award.

The statement must be no longer than 400 words. It is recommended that entrants write the supporting statement before starting the online entry process.

How many people can be in a group entry?

A maximum of four entrants can be included in a formal application. 

What are the rules for group entries?

For each entry, groups complete one registration with the first name listed as the lead entrant.

If a group intends to claim the free Quill entry available for members, all entrants must be financial members.

Be aware that the order of the names as given in the group entry process is the order used on all publicity and trophies. You cannot change this order after an entry is submitted, so please consult with all members before entering.

Can I enter a category more than once?

Entrants may enter an individual category twice with separate pieces of work. A new application must be submitted for each entry.

Can I enter the same piece of work in more than one category?

Entrants must not submit the same piece of work in more than one category.

This rule does not apply to the Young Journalist of the Year Award, or the Best Coverage of an Issue or Event and Innovation in Journalism categories. A piece of work that constitutes or forms part of an entry in these categories may also be entered in one further category.

The judges reserve the right to transfer an entry to another category and to reject an entry that, in their opinion, does not comply with the requirements of the awards.

How do I verify my entry?

During the online submission process, you will be asked to provide contact details for your editor, producer or equivalent manager who will receive an email requesting verification of the work and related details. This person must verify the entry via an email they receive before it can be considered by the judges.

I am self-published. What do I do to verify the work?

Self-published entrants should provide relevant URL links and where possible, verification of the work's authenticity.

Do you have any advice on uploading files?

If you need help to reduce the PDF file size or optimise your PDF, please refer to this guide: http://www.wikihow.com/Reduce-PDF-File-Size. To merge PDF files, please refer to this guide: http://www.wikihow.com/Merge-PDF-Files.

Do I need to send hard copies via postal mail?

Hard copies of applications and supporting material will not be accepted, except in the TV/Video Feature (long form) category.

How many pieces can I submit as part of my entry?

Please see individual category criteria on the rules and criteria page for information about specific categories.

How do I submit social media content or updates as part of a Quill entry?

If you are including segments/sections of Twitter or other social media with an entry, please take a screen shot and save the relevant pages in PDF format to be included with your entry. A link to an entire Twitter feed or other social media content will not be accepted nor considered in the judging process.

Apply to join the Melbourne Press Club

Membership is $85 for journalists, $110 for associate members and $40 for students.

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