Since November 30, 1971.

2017 Quills Conditions of Entry & Judging Criteria


Download a PDF version of the Conditions of Entry and Judging Criteria

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 2017 Quill Awards must have been published or broadcast between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017. 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 Thursday 1 February 2018.

How many entries may be submitted?

A maximum of two entries may be submitted in one category but the same entry may not be submitted 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.

An item 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.

Supporting statements

Entrants must add a supporting statement of no more than 400 words explaining the particular significance of the work and how it was executed.

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. 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 as many as 8 items or stories. 

Individual, Group and Team entries

Individual: Individual entrants must choose the option of ‘individual entry’ 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: 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. 

Employer verification

Entrants must provide contact details for their employer or a contact at the organisation that 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 promotion

The MPC reserves the right to reproduce all entries 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. Attempting to load larger files may corrupt your entry. 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. If you still have problems with attaching files or with file size limits, please contact the Press Club 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 pay wall) until 20 March 2017. Entrants may be disqualified if their work is not accessible to judges up until that time.

Audio and Video

A high-quality file of the primary piece of work must be lodged with a host site in aiff or wav format (for audio files) and full HD (1920 X 1040) H.264 (for video). Files can be uploaded to the free file-sharing platforms SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/ and Vimeo https://vimeo.com/ and must be publicly viewable and downloadable. For help with video compression see the following short guide from Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/help/compression.  

All entrants in the TV/Video Feature (Long Form) category must post or deliver four hard copies of the feature to the Melbourne Press Club, GPO Box 769, Melbourne 3001. Please note that these will not be returned.

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 accompanying 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.

Breaking News Coverage                                                                   

This award is open to all media. It seeks to recognise 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.

Business News

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.

Business Feature

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 feature series.

Camera Work

Entries will be judged on impact, technical excellence, creativity 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.

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 and is designed 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, as many as seven 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.

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. 

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.

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 Grant Hattam Quill for Investigative Journalism is named in memory of prominent media lawyer Grant Hattam. It carries a $1000 prize provided 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 print and online. Columnists must have been published 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 or blogs. 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, reader response and the writer’s initiative identify 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.

The RACV Transport Quill

This award is open to all media. It is awarded to a journalist or team that achieves excellence in the reporting of any transport issue. Subjects are not restricted to roads or motor vehicles; they can include, air, sea and rail transport issues. Entries will be judged on originality, impact, relevance, quality of writing or production and investigative skill, with consideration given to use of platforms and mediums.

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

The award carries a $3000 prize supported by the RACV.

Podcasting

This new 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.

Radio News

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, the degree of difficulty involved in getting exclusive audio or interviews and the creative use of atmospheric sound to bring listeners closer to a story.

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

Radio Current Affairs

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, the degree of difficulty involved in getting exclusive audio or interviews and the creative use of atmospheric sound to bring listeners closer to a story.

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

Regional and Rural Journalism

This award is for work originally published 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.

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.

Suburban Journalism

This award is for work originally published in suburban 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.

The TAC Towards Zero 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 the TAC's Towards Zero vision: 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 $3000 prize supported by the Transport Accident Commission.

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.

All entrants in the TV/Video Feature (long form) category must post four hard copies of the feature to the Melbourne Press Club, GPO Box 769, Melbourne 3001. Envelopes should clearly state entrant name and employer organisation.           

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. 

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, which supports a $3000 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 2017. It is open to journalists aged 25 years or under on 1 December 2017. 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 2017 and 31 December 2017. The judges will consider how the work was conceived, the amount of direction the entrant received, research skill and influences such as time constraints.

Entrants may submit a portfolio of work. Where there is no thematic title for the entry, submissions should be titled “(Name)_Portfolio” in the online application. Entrants are limited to three PDF/JPEG attachments and/or three URL links. Please consult our guide for merging and compressing PDFs for further guidance.

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 $1000 cash grant, return travel to the United States to attend the annual Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) conference and one year’s international membership of the IRE organisation. The Wilnic Family Trust and Josephine Nicholls support this award. Josephine is the widow of David Wilson, who headed The Age Insight team for 10 years.


Go to the 2017 Quills landing page

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