2017 Quills Frequently Asked Questions

Download a PDF of the 2017 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 1 February 2018.

Are there any changes to the Quill Awards this year?

Yes. The Melbourne Press Club has introduced a new category, Podcasting, to celebrate the best examples of this expanding journalistic medium. The Quill for Regional or Suburban Journalism has been separated into one for Suburban Journalism and another for Regional and Rural Journalism.

To see a full list of this year’s categories, visit the ‘Quills categories, conditions of entry & 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 a media organisation that is based in Victoria or conducts substantial publishing or broadcasting activities in Victoria.

Journalism about Victoria produced by organisations and individuals based in other states is not eligible unless the entrant or at least one member of a group entry who contributed substantially to the work is based in Victoria.

How much does it cost to enter the Awards?

The Melbourne Press Club charges a $105 administrative fee for each entry to the Quill awards. Financial members of the Club are eligible for one free entry, provided they remain financial until 16 March 2018. 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. Alternatively, you can log in to our member portal in the top right corner of our home page.

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 (All links must be publicly available – and not be sitting behind a paywall - until after Friday 16 March 2018)
  • 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 conditions of entry and category criteria. Each category has different requirements in terms of uploading material. This information is listed in the latter half of the conditions of entry document.

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 group entry.

What are the rules for group entries?

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

If a group intends to claim the free Quill entry available for members, all entrants must be financial members. The free entry is attributed to the primary entrant, who can not claim another free entry.

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.

To enter a group entry, please choose the ‘group entry’ option on the first page of the online application form.

What is a team entry?

If more than four people are part of an entry, a ‘team’ entry must be submitted. In a team entry, the name of the publisher or reporting team is acknowledged in official materials produced on the night. No individuals are recognised.

For team entries, please choose the ‘individual entry’ option on the first page of the online application form, and then specify the team name in the supporting statement.
Can I enter a category more than once?

Entrants may enter a particular 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 following categories:

  • Young Journalist of the Year Award
  • Coverage of an Issue or Event.
  • Innovation in Journalism

A piece of work that constitutes or forms part of an entry in either or both of 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.

Further questions

If you are uncertain about any aspect of the entries process, please contact the secretariat at entries@melbournepressclub.com or on 03 9614 2779.

Go to the Quills landing page

Apply to join the Melbourne Press Club

Membership is $100 for journalists, $150 for associate members and $40 for students.

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