Since November 30, 1971.
Awards

Quills - Conditions of Entry & Judging Criteria


DOWNLOAD 2020 CATEGORY CRITERIA


DOWNLOAD 2020 CONDITIONS OF ENTRY


2019/20 BUSHFIRE COVERAGE: ELIGIBILITY STATEMENT


QUILLS JUDGING CRITERIA (BY CATEGORY)

Artwork

This award is open to artwork in all media. The judges will recognise the quality of execution, originality of artistic style and technique, and viewer impact. They will also consider how effectively the artwork supports any associated text or broadcast material.

Entrants need to provide one main piece of work and, optionally, one or two supporting pieces if they form a series.

 

Best Business Story In Any Medium

This award is open to all media. Entries will be judged on originality, impact, relevance, quality of writing/production, use of platform and investigative skill. Entrants need to provide one main piece of work and, optionally, one or two supporting pieces if they form a series.

 

Breaking News Coverage     

This award is open to all media. It looks to recognise outstanding teamwork, although individuals are also entitled to enter. The award acknowledges the challenges and skill required to cover a breaking news event as it happens. The judges will consider the quality of writing/production during a breaking news event and factors such as entrants who are on the scene, have secured a scoop or displayed unusual initiative. Effective use of multiple publishing platforms and social media to extend the scope of the coverage will also be recognised.

Entrants need to provide one main piece of work and, optionally, one or two supporting pieces.

 

Cartoon

The judges will give priority to amusement. They will also recognise skill in encapsulating an issue or idea, topicality, draftsmanship and creative use of visual metaphor. Entrants will be judged on a single cartoon.

 

Coverage of an Issue or Event

This award is open to all media. It looks to recognise teamwork, although individuals may also enter. It recognises coverage of a major news event or ongoing issue, which may extend over a period of hours, days or months. The judges will look not simply at the first to publish but the team or individual that best covered an issue or event after it broke. (The Breaking News Coverage Quill is where the skill and initiative of a “scoop” is recognised.) Special attention will be given to stories that tailor offerings to various platforms, such as online, mobile devices and social media.

As well as a primary piece of work, a maximum of five additional related items will be considered by judges.

An item that constitutes or forms part of an entry in this category may also be entered in one further category.

 

The Father Bob Maguire Foundation Cobberwealth Award for Reporting on Social Inclusion

Father Bob Maguire has been providing services to the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in Inner City Melbourne for over 47 years. In supporting this one-off award, the Father Bob Maguire Foundation intends to recognise and encourage Victorian journalists to highlight the issues surrounding homelessness and social isolation with compassion and care.

The award is open to all media. Entries should focus on the many complex factors that contribute to homelessness and/or social isolation and how society might address them. The judges will look to recognise work that reflects what Father Bob calls "the five C's that make a community: care, communication, concern, common sense and compassion".

The winner (or primary entrant in a group or team entry) will receive a return ticket to San Francisco to visit with The Glide Foundation, who also create an inclusive community to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalisation. 

 

Features Photograph

The judges will recognise the photographer’s success in distilling the essence of a story or providing new insight into an issue. They will look for impact, technical excellence, creativity and exclusivity. Entrants should provide a single image, or a maximum of three related images.

 

Feature Writing

This award is open to print and online. Entries will be judged on originality, impact, relevance, quality of writing, platform and investigative skill, with an emphasis on the quality of writing.

Entrants need to provide one main piece of work and, optionally, one or two supporting pieces.

 

The Grant Hattam Quill for Investigative Journalism

This award is open to all media. It is awarded for work judged to be an outstanding example of investigative journalism. That work should uphold the right of journalists to publish or broadcast material in the public interest under difficult circumstances, including legal restraints. Entrants should provide one main piece of work and, optionally, one or two supporting pieces.

The award is named in memory of prominent media lawyer Grant Hattam. It carries a $3000 cash prize supported by the Herald & Weekly Times.

 

Innovation in Journalism

This award is open to all media but looks particularly to recognise fresh talent and creativity in the digital space. It is designed to reward team effort, although individuals are also entitled to enter. Entries will be judged on freshness and innovation, effective use of the mediums involved, including social media, and organisation and accessibility of content. As for other awards, journalistic excellence will be judged on the basis of impact, investigative skills, relevance, quality of writing and initiative.

Entrants are asked to provide a primary piece of work and may submit one or two other supporting pieces of work.

An item that constitutes or forms part of an entry in this category may also be entered in one further category.

 

The Keith Dunstan Quill for Commentary

This award is open to all media. Columnists and broadcast commentators must have been published or broadcast at least 10 times during the year to be eligible. Bloggers are required to have been wholly or mainly responsible for maintaining a blog site for a substantial part of the year. Entrants may submit a maximum of three columns, blogs or broadcast commentaries. They should identify one piece of work as the primary part of the entry.

The award judges will consider originality, quality of writing, impact, contribution to change, audience response and the writer or broadcaster’s initiative in identifying issues and raising public awareness. In the case of bloggers, use of the medium and the level and quality of interaction with website users, where relevant, will also be considered.

The Keith Dunstan Quill for Commentary is named in memory of Keith Dunstan, Victoria’s best-known and longest-serving newspaper columnist, who died in 2013.

 

News Photograph

The judges will recognise success in distilling the essence of a breaking news story. They will look for impact, technical excellence, creativity and exclusivity. Entrants should provide a single image, or a maximum of three images in a series.

 

News Report in Writing

This award is open to print and online. It recognises the skill and initiative of a big news break. Judges will consider originality, impact, relevance, quality of writing/production, platform and investigative skill.

Entrants need to provide one main piece of work and, optionally, one or two supporting pieces

 

Podcasting

This award recognises excellence, creativity, impact, innovation and investigative skill in this expanding journalistic medium. Entries may include audio pieces premiered or serialised on radio and made available for online streaming, as well as “podcast native” programs. Judges will recognise the opportunity of the podcast form to tell stories in fresh ways, including the use of elements such as music, atmospheric sound, interviews or literary form to engage listeners.

Entrants are asked to provide one main piece of work or, if the work is in a series, the whole series. When nominating a series, please select three key episodes for consideration by the judges (e.g. opening, middle and final episodes). You can provide further context in the supporting statement. 

 

Quill for Recognising Excellence in Indigenous Affairs Reporting

The Melbourne Press Club is committed to recognising, promoting and amplifying the voices of Indigenous journalists and stories.

This Quill Award recognises excellence in Indigenous Affairs reporting, and encourages journalism that: i) highlights and amplifies Indigenous voices and stories; ii) facilitates and brings about societal debate and/or policy change; and iii) builds strength, visibility and pride in Victorian Aboriginal culture, history and achievement.

This award is open to all Indigenous and non-Indigenous journalists who work in either Indigenous or mainstream media, and recognises excellence in the reportage of Indigenous affairs in all mediums (print, digital, TV, radio, podcast, video, etc.)

Judges for this award will consider:

  • Storytelling elements: quality of writing or production, story exclusivity, deadline pressure and effort;
  • The resources available to the individual or group;
  • Impact on the journalist themselves, and;
  • The contribution towards truth, justice and increasing cultural understanding.

Entrants can choose to submit a single piece of work or up to three related pieces showcasing a body of work.

Note: the majority of the four judges for this award will be Indigenous and there will be equal gender balance.

The supporting statement has been expanded in this category to a maximum of 750 words.

The award carries a $3,000 prize.

 

Radio Current Affairs

This award recognises excellence in radio current affairs journalism, focusing on the immediacy, accuracy, originality and impact of the reporting; acknowledging the additional pressure of live vs pre-recorded work, and the degree of difficulty in obtaining an interview or piece of audio. The judges will also be looking to reward exclusivity, investigative skills, and simple story-telling. 

Entrants are encouraged to select a single piece of work for this category.  There is the option of providing a maximum of two supporting pieces of related work on the same subject.

 

Radio News

This award is for radio news reporting – be it a live cross or a recorded voice report.  It seeks to recognise the unique pressures of turning a breaking news story into a succinct piece of radio broadcasting, which tells the listener everything they need to know in under 2 minutes.  Judges will be examining the exclusivity and impact of the entry, as well as the quality of the story telling. Consideration will also be given to the time and resources available to the journalist.

Entrants are encouraged to select a single piece of work for this category (of no more than 2 mins in duration).  If required, a maximum of two supporting pieces of related work on the same subject may also be submitted.

 

Regional and Rural Journalism

This award is for work originally published or broadcast in regional or rural media. Entries will be judged on their originality, impact, relevance, use of platform where relevant, and investigative skill, with an emphasis on quality of writing and/or production.

Entrants need to provide one main piece of work and, optionally, one or two supporting pieces.

Nb: Criteria updated on 15 December 2020 to reflect a decision about the inclusion of Geelong-based publications in this category.

 

Sports Feature

This award is open to all media. Entries will be judged on the criteria of originality, impact, relevance, use of platform and investigative skill, with an emphasis on quality of writing and/or production.

Entrants need to provide one main piece of work and, optionally, one or two supporting pieces.

 

Sports News

This award is open to all media. It recognises the skill and initiative of a big news break in sports reporting. Judges will consider originality, impact, relevance, quality of writing/production, use of platform, and investigative skill.

Entrants are asked to provide one main piece of work and, optionally, one or two supporting pieces.

 

Sports Photograph

The judges will recognise impact, technical excellence, creativity and exclusivity in sports coverage.

Entrants should provide a single image, or a maximum of three images in a series.

 

The TAC Quill for Road Safety Reporting

This award is open to all media. It recognises excellence in road safety reporting and will reward journalism that contributes to a future where no person is killed or seriously injured on Victorian roads. It is open to individual journalists, a team or a news organisation. It can recognise a single news report, a series of reports, a feature article or a campaign in print, broadcast media or online. Entries will be judged according to their potential impact on road safety - their contribution to promoting safer roads, safer people, safer speeds or safer cars, and in encouraging community discussion about road safety issues.

The award carries a $3,000 cash prize supported by the Transport Accident Commission.

 

TV Camera Work (Creative)

Entries for news features (run time less than 40 minutes) where the camera operator displayed innovation and creativity. Judges will look for expertise and use of extra camera technologies (drones, dashcam, etc.) to create sequences for extra visual impact.

 

TV Camera Work (Shot of the Year)

Entries will be judged on impact, technical excellence, and exclusivity. The judges will recognise the entrant’s success in capturing or illuminating the essence of a breaking news story or providing new insight into a subject.

 

TV/Video Feature (Long Form)

This award is for TV or video features over 10 minutes in length. Submissions in TV categories can include stories created for online video-on-demand or live streaming.

Entries will be judged on originality, impact, relevance, quality of writing or production and investigative skill. Judges will recognise the degree of difficulty involved in getting exclusive footage audio or interviews. Entrants need to provide a single piece of work.

NB: Entrants in the TV/Video Feature (Long Form) category are no longer required to post hard copies of the their work to the Melbourne Press Club. A link to a downloadable version of video files via a file sharing service like Dropbox, Google Drive, WeTransfer or Vimeo will suffice. Please ensure your file is downloadable until after the Quill Awards presentation in March/April 2021.

 

TV/Video Feature (Short Form)

This award is for TV or video features under 10 minutes in length. Submissions in the TV categories can include stories created for online video-on-demand or live streaming.

Entries will be judged on originality, impact, relevance, quality of writing or production and investigative skill. Judges will recognise the extra difficulty involved in live, as opposed to pre-recorded work, and the degree of difficulty involved in getting exclusive footage.

Entrants need to provide a single piece of work.

 

TV/Video News

Submissions in the TV category can include stories created for online video-on-demand or live streaming.

The judges will recognise the skill and initiative involved in a big news break, its impact and the quality of writing or production. They will also consider the extra difficulty involved in live as opposed to pre-recorded work and the difficulty involved in getting exclusive footage.

Entrants are asked to provide one main piece of work and, optionally, one or two supporting pieces.

 

The VicHealth Quill for Coverage of Women in Sport

This award, supported by VicHealth, recognises excellence in reporting of women in sport, by rewarding journalism that contributes to gender equality and a fair, respectful, safe and inclusive society.

Entries will be judged according to their potential positive impact on gender equality.  This could include, for example, reducing harmful stereotypes and promoting positive role models, and/or encouraging constructive discussion about gender issues.

Entrants are asked to provide one main piece of work and, optionally, one or two supporting pieces.

The award carries a $3,000 cash prize supported by VicHealth.

 

The Victorian Government Quill for Reporting on Disability Issues

This award is open to all media. It recognises journalistic excellence in the positive portrayal of people with disability and the issues they may face. Entries depicting the real-life experiences of people with disability are encouraged. The award is open to individual journalists and teams.

Entrants are asked to provide one main piece of work and, optionally, one or two supporting pieces.

The Quill for Reporting on Disability Issues is sponsored by the Victorian Government and supports a $3,000 cash prize.

 

The Victorian Government Quill for Reporting on Multicultural Affairs

This award is open to all media and encourages nuanced and informed reporting about culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Judges will look for journalism that highlights the experiences and contributions of culturally and linguistically diverse communities, calls out racism and discrimination, challenges harmful cultural stereotypes, and breaks down barriers between cultures.

Entrants are asked to provide one main piece of work. Entrants can also choose to include one or two supporting pieces. The Quill for Reporting on Cultural Diversity is sponsored by the Victorian Government and supports a $3,000 cash prize.

 

The Young Journalist of the Year

This award is open to all media and is presented to the entrant judged to be the most outstanding young journalist in 2020. It is open to journalists aged 25 years or under on 1 December 2020 (Entrants must include their date of birth in the supporting statement).

Work in any medium and in any combination of single news stories, features or series may be submitted. The work must have been published or broadcast between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020. The judges will consider how the work was conceived, the amount of direction the entrant received, research skill and other factors such as time constraints.

Entrants may submit a portfolio of work. Entrants are limited to three PDF/JPEG attachments and/or three URL links, but may include multiple stories in a single PDF. An item that constitutes or forms part of an entry in this category may also be entered in one further category.

The Young Journalist of the Year receives a $1,000 cash grant and return travel to the United States to attend the annual Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) conference (COVID-19 permitting).


QUILLS CONDITIONS OF ENTRY

The Quill Awards promote and honour excellence in Victorian journalism. Entrants must observe the following guidelines. In particular, they must adhere to the detailed specifications for submitting documents, audio and video files set out below.

 

Who is eligible to enter?

Entrants must be employed by a media organisation that is based in Victoria or conducts substantial publishing or broadcasting activities in Victoria. They must work primarily in Victoria or have been sent from Victoria on an interstate or overseas assignment for a Victorian media organisation. 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.

 

What work is eligible for entry?

Entries for the 2020 Quill Awards must have been published or broadcast between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020. All entries must comply with the MEAA Code of Ethics and must declare any formal corrections, claims of plagiarism or any legal proceedings commenced in relation to the entry after its publication. Entrants must certify that their work is original and that it complies with copyright rules.

 

What is the deadline?

Entries must be submitted by 5pm Friday 5 February 2021.

 

Individual, Group and Team entries

Individual: If an entry is the work of one person, choose the ‘individual entry’ option on the first page of the online application form.

Group: Two, three or a maximum of four individuals may submit a group entry. Group entries must choose the ‘group entry’ option on the first page of the online application form. In a group entry, the first-named entrant in the online application form will be regarded as the primary entrant. For group entrants to redeem the free member entry offer, all involved parties must be financial members of the Melbourne Press Club. The free entry will be attributed to the primary entrant, and they will not be able to claim a further free entry.

Team: Team entries are permitted only in the following four categories: Breaking News Coverage, Coverage of an Issue or Event, Innovation in Journalism, and Podcasting.

Organisations and groups of five or more individuals may submit a team entry. In a team entry, the name of the publisher or reporting team is acknowledged in official materials produced on the night, rather than any individual. 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. 

 

How many entries can you submit?

You may submit a maximum of two entries in a particular category, however the same entry may not be submitted in more than one category.

There are exceptions to the above rule. An item which constitutes or forms part of an entry in the following categories may also be entered in one further category:

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

In general, the judges reserve the right to transfer an entry to another category or to reject an entry that, in their opinion, does not comply with the Conditions of Entry.

 

Supporting statements

Entrants must add a supporting statement explaining the particular significance of the work and how it was executed. Please address the criteria relating to each category.

Most supporting statements are no more than 400 words. The Quill for Excellence in Reporting Indigenous Affairs allows a supporting statement of no more than 750 words.

 

How much material can be part of an entry?

Where entrants submit multiple articles, broadcast items or images as part of an entry, they must nominate the primary item to be considered by judges in their supporting statement. Where the primary item forms part of a series or a package, up to two further associated items may be submitted to provide context. If this condition is not adhered to, the judges may either select one item from those submitted by the entrant as the primary item or disqualify the entry. 

In the Coverage of an Issue or Event category, the entrant is not required to nominate a primary item and may submit a maximum of six items or stories, including the primary item.

Employer verification

Entrants must provide contact details for their employer or a contact at the organisation which commissioned the work. This person will receive a verification email and be asked to confirm the work’s authenticity.

 

Can MPC board members and judges enter?

MPC board members and Quills judges are eligible to enter the Quill awards, however a board member or judge who submits an individual entry or is part of a group entry in any category is ineligible to also serve as a judge in that category.

Judging 

The judges’ decisions are final.

 

Quill Awards republishing rights

By submitting a Quill Awards entry, the entrant(s) and the publisher or broadcaster of their work acknowledges the right of the Melbourne Press Club to reproduce all entry materials for the purposes of promoting the awards. Quill winners may be expected to speak about their entry as part of a later MPC event.

 

ATTACHMENT SPECIFICATIONS

Print 

Attach compressed PDF or JPG files of up to 10MB each of the pages on which the article appears, or of photographs, cartoons and artwork. Combined total size limit is 25MB. Please observe these limits as attempting to load larger files may corrupt your entry.

If you need help optimising or reducing the size of PDF files, please refer to this guide: http://www.wikihow.com/Reduce-PDF-File-Size. For information on how to merge PDF files, please refer to this guide: http://www.wikihow.com/Merge-PDF-Files. Please note that these guides are not produced by the Melbourne Press Club and content may change at any time.

If you are concerned about the size of your files and have no success with other methods, you can upload your files to a cloud storage tools such as Google Drive or Dropbox and provide a URL to access. Files must be viewable and downloadable.

If you still have problems with attaching files or with file size limits, please contact Melbourne Press Club staff at entries@melbournepressclub.com.

 

Website publications

In addition to PDF and JPG files, you may provide URLs linking to your work. The work must remain publicly viewable (not behind a paywall) until after the 2020 Quill Awards presentation in March/April 2021. Entrants may be disqualified if their work is not accessible to judges up until that time.

If you have issues relating to entry material being behind firewalls, please contact Melbourne Press Club staff at entries@melbournepressclub.com.

 

Audio and Video

A high-quality file of the primary piece of work should be lodged with a host site, ideally in WAV format for audio files and full HD (1920 X 1040) for video. Files can be uploaded to free file-sharing and streaming platforms like SoundCloud or Vimeo. Alternatively, you can upload audio files to cloud storage tools such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Provide a link or links in the URL fields to materials.

Entry material must be accessible and downloadable until after the Quill Awards presentation in March/April 2021.

All entrants in the TV/Video Feature (Long Form) category must provide digital versions of their entry materials. Our preference is that you supply a downloadable version of the full long form work via a file-sharing service or cloud storage tool such as WeTransfer, Dropbox or Google Drive. Provide a URL in the application.

If you have queries about supplying audio and video material, please contact Melbourne Press Club staff at entries@melbournepressclub.com.


Go to the Quills homepage

Apply to join the Melbourne Press Club

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

Subscribe to our mailing list

Keep up to date with all our events, announcements and special offers.