Are you ready to soar? Enter the 2018 Gold Quill Awards

Share your best work by entering the 2018 Gold Quill Awards program.

For more than 40 years, the IABC Gold Quill Awards have recognized communication work from around the world that soars above the average, taking communication to new heights. Award-winning work is innovative, strategic and delivers significant results.

Entering the 2018 Gold Quill Awards program gets you access to feedback from leading communicators and validates your best work against a global standard—a measure that elevates groundbreaking work to identify “the best of the best” communication efforts in the world. It’s an excellent, low-cost professional development opportunity.

As the premier program for communication professionals (the “Pulitzer Prize” of our field), Gold Quill recognizes excellence in communication and honors the dedication, innovation and passion of communicators on a global scale.

The theme for this year is “Soar.” The goal of a communicator’s best work is to change hearts and minds, ultimately inspiring action. It should connect people and ideas, using concepts born out of creativity and innovation. Award-winning work will also inspire others to reach for excellence.

Key dates

Program opens: 26 September 2017
Early-bird deadline: 15 November 2017
Deadline: 10 January 2018
Late deadline: 30 January 2018


We have many resources to help you prepare entries to the Gold Quill Awards program.

  • How to Create an Award-winning Gold Quill Entry” webinar recording, with Awards Chair Cindy Schmieg, ABC, IABC Fellow.
  • The “Midas Touch Guide” for each division—a detailed guide on how to craft your entry to best showcase your work. (See below.)
  • Score sheets for each division, so you can see exactly what the evaluators will be looking for.
  • A preview of the online form for the Communication Skills division entries, so that you can have all your answers ready for submission.
  • A Word document template for divisions 1, 2 and 3 work plans to help you set up your entry correctly.

Articles about Gold Quill Award-winning case studies 

Each month, Communication World magazine publishes a case study focusing on a Gold Quill winner. Here are some recent articles that you might like to read. You can also view the case studies page on the Gold Quill website.

Tope 10 tips for entering

1. Review the resources available on the Gold Quill Award website—especially the Midas Touch Guides, which explain how each section of the work plan is scored, including which attributes would cause judges to mark your entry higher or lower.

2. On the work plan, make sure your objectives are SMART:

  • Specific: Describes a desired outcome
  • Measurable: Quantified as an output, outtake or outcome
  • Achievable: Challenging, but within the range of influence
  • Relevant: Contributes to business goals in a meaningful way
  • Time-framed: Includes a completion date, if appropriate

3. Include both output-based and outcome-based objectives. Output-based objectives measure volume or increases against media vehicles and communication channels like website visits, articles distributed, ads produced, meetings held, content analysis, blog posts, tweets, or downloads.

Outcome-based objectives measure what the audience will gain by way of awareness, understanding, recall, different perceptions, and quantifiable change in attitudes, opinions and behaviors.

4. For the measurement section of the work plan, tie your results back to your objectives.

5. Include research completed both in the work plan and as part of the work sample.

6. Choose work samples that highlight the strength of the entry and give a representative sample of the work. Refer to your work samples within the work plan.

7. Write the work plan and organize the work sample in a way that both explains the project to someone with no prior knowledge of the work and celebrates your success.

8. If you combine project elements into one PDF for the work sample, make sure to label items so the judges understand what they are looking at.

9. Carefully review the categories to determine which fit your entry best. You may enter multiple categories, but you should customize each entry for that category.

10. Follow the rules outlined on the website and in the Midas Touch Guides. Don’t risk your entry being disqualified.

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