Quills - Frequently Asked Questions

What do the Quill Awards recognise?

The Quill Awards promote and recognise excellence in Victorian journalism.


Who judges the Quill Awards?

The Melbourne Press Club assembles judging panels for the Quills, drawing on present and former journalists, editors and other relevant professionals.


When do entries close?

Entries close 5pm, Friday 28 January 2022.


Are there any changes to the Quill Awards this year?

Yes. We're excited to launch the inaugural Quill for Excellence in Science, Medical and Health Reporting, sponsored by University of Melbourne, for the 2021 Quills.

The TV/Video Feature long and short form categories have been combined into the TV/Video Feature category, and several categories have had slight changes to their titles; including Business News/Feature and Road Safety Reporting, sponsored by TAC.

Given its one-off status at the 2020 Quills, the Father Bob Cobberwealth Award is not on the list this year. We encourage would-be entrants for these Quills to consider entering in other relevant categories.

To see a full list of this year’s categories, visit the Quills categories or Conditions of Entry and Category Criteria pages.


Who is eligible to enter the Quill Awards?

To enter the Quill awards, the entrant/s 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 the Quill Awards presentation dinner in March/April 2022. 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 or 03 8080 3610. 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.

Please also be aware the online submission form will time out if left open for a long period, so we recommend having all required information at hand before beginning the entry process. (For a list of what to have ready, check the next section in this document.)

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 submit 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 when submitting 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.
  • 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 addressing any category criteria, explaining the significance of the work and how it was executed (the Quill for Recognising Excellence in Indigenous Affairs Reporting allows up to 750 words).
  • Files of the work (PDF or JPGs) or links to online stories or to where they are hosted. Video and audio can be uploaded to platforms such as SoundCloud, YouTube or Vimeo, or cloud storage/file sharing services such as Google Drive, Dropbox or WeTransfer. Please consider that all links must be publicly available – and not be sitting behind a paywall - until after the Quill Awards presentation night in March/April 2021, and that MPC staff require access to downloadable versions of all audio and video content.
  • 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 an MPC 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 as possible 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 you intend to upload ready and saved in the correct format (eg. JPEG or PDF).


What do I include in my supporting statement?

The supporting statement is an opportunity for entrants to address the category criteria, 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 (the Quill for Recognising Excellence in Indigenous Affairs Reporting allows up to 750 words).

It is recommended that entrants consult the category criteria and then write the supporting statement in a Word document 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 cannot 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?

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. No individuals are recognised.

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

For team entries, please choose the “individual entry” option on the first page of the online application form and specify the team name (how you would like to be recognised) in the supporting statement. For example, ‘The Port Fairy Gazette Investigations Team’ or ‘The Argus Podcast Team’.


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 and admin fee/s paid if applicable.


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 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 which, in their opinion, does not comply with the requirements of the awards.

You may only enter an item a maximum of two times, regardless of whether it comprises all or part of each entry, and only when a category specifically allows for it.


How does the Melbourne Press Club 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 can verify the entry via an email they receive before it is considered by the judges. If you are unsure whether the verification email has reached your employer, contact our team at


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 and publication.


Do you have any advice on uploading files?

If you need help optimising or reducing the size of PDF files, please refer to this guide:

For information on how to merge PDF files, please refer to this guide:

Please note: these guides are not produced by the Melbourne Press Club and content may change at any time.


Do I need to send hard copies via postal mail?

Hard copies of applications and supporting material will not be accepted.


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 Melbourne Press Club team at or on 03 8080 3610.


Apply to join the Melbourne Press Club

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

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