IABC Houston

2020 Bronze Quill Awards Program

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Professional Entry Student Entry


About the IABC Houston Bronze Quill Awards

The Bronze Quill Awards program is Houston's premier awards program for communications professionals. Now is your chance to be recognized for your keen thinking, hard work and creative brilliance and join the ranks of Houston's renowned communicators. Get full details on the entry process, judging criteria and award categories in the Bronze Quill Awards Guidelines.

Already know why and how to enter? Jump to submit an entry:

Top Three Reasons To Enter

  1. Gain exposure within the local Houston communications community
    We promote the Bronze Quill Awards and winners in a number of ways, including our social media channels.
  2. Receive recognition internally and externally for exceptional strategic communications
    We encourage you to show off the abilities and talents of your department and your organization.
  3. Market yourself to your peers, prospective clients and potential future employers
    As one of the largest IABC chapters in the world — and the 2020 International Chapter of the Year — a Bronze Quill Award is a great opportunity to gain recognition in front of a very influential group of professional communicators.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some common questions about the awards program and the submission process.


Who is eligible to submit an award nomination?

The Bronze Quill Awards are open to all communications professionals, including freelancers and those working in agencies, nonprofit organizations or corporations. You do NOT have to be an IABC member to enter the competition or attend the awards gala, but members do receive a discount for both entry prices and event reservations.

To take advantage of the member discount, take a moment now to join IABC, one of the most robust, full-service professional organizations in the world.

All types of organizations – public, private, not-for-profit, government departments and marketing and advertising agencies – are eligible. Students of communications, marketing and advertising programs are also invited to submit award nominations in special student categories.

The entrant is the project lead who has worked on the project and is submitting for him/herself or on behalf of the project team. The entrant named must match the entrant named on the work plan and be the primary lead on the project.

What can I enter?

Original material that was produced and/or measured in 2019 is eligible for entry. If you started the project in 2018, but some of its elements carried over into 2019 (e.g., measurement of its success occurred in 2019), then it is eligible.

If you entered your work in previous years and didn’t win an award, you may revise and re-enter your project. Entries that have won in previous years may not be resubmitted.

Entrants may submit work in multiple categories within and across divisions, providing that the work plan fits the category description. You may submit as many entries as you wish; however, separate entry fees apply for each entry.

When must the work have been completed?

All work submitted in the awards program must have been planned and largely executed in 2019. Eligible work is in the process of being or has been implemented, published or broadcast between January 2019 and the day of submission.

Work that continues to be implemented in the current time period under a long-term strategy developed prior to January 2019 is eligible provided it has not previously been entered in the Bronze Quill Awards program.

Can a team submit an entry?

You may submit as an individual or as a team.

Can I submit work done for a client?

Of course! But you do need to have the permission of your client and indicate so on the entry.

What are the eligibility requirements for student entries?

A student or a group of students may submit entries. At the time the work was created, the student must have been attending school full-time or part-time, working toward a degree at a college, university, or other educational institution. NOTE: if a student has prior professional communication experience or is currently employed in the communication profession, they must submit a professional entry.

Students may enter in the Student Entry category – there is one in each of the four divisions. Work produced for educational courses, a club or volunteer association, an internship, or commercial or noncommercial activities is eligible for submission.

If the project was not fully implemented, please note this for the evaluators. It will not disadvantage your entry; however, you must show how the program would have been evaluated had it been implemented.

Professors, lecturers, or advisers may NOT enter on behalf of a student or student team.

Submitting Entries

How do I submit an entry?

To enter, choose your category, complete and upload your entry and pay the entry fee. Full payment must be received for all entries on or before the closing date to be eligible. Each entry must be submitted and paid for individually.

The entry requirements vary by division – see below for details.

There are a variety of resources for entrants available on the Gold Quill site – we highly recommend reviewing these to get a sense of what evaluators are looking for when they are judging entries. But don’t forget to come back here to enter the IABC Houston Bronze Quill Awards.

What divisions & categories can I enter a project in?

With four divisions and 28 categories, you are sure to find one that suits your project! The divisions and categories for the Bronze Quill Awards are aligned with the IABC International awards, making it easy to take the feedback you receive and enter your project for a Silver Quill and/or Gold Quill award. Find out more about each of the divisions and their categories by clicking on one of the divisions below.

NOTE: These links will take you to the Gold Quill Site for division/category information. Please come back to this site to submit your nomination!

  1. Communication Management
  2. Communication Research
  3. Communication Training & Education
  4. Communication Skills

How does the submission process differ for each of the divisions?

Divisions 1, 2 and 3 all require a Work Plan (template here – maximum of 4 pages) and Work Sample (PDF – maximum 2GB). See the Midas Touch Guide for divisions 1, 2 and 3 for more information on what judges will be looking for.

Division 4 requires an entry form (template here) and Work Sample. See the Midas Touch Guide for division 4 for more information on what judges will be looking for.

What is the deadline for entering?

The entry deadlines are as follows:

Early Bird Deadline: Monday, April 6, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. CDT

Regular Deadline: Friday, April 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CDT

Late Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CDT

Please note that there will be no deadline extensions. There is a late deadline with an increased entry fee (same as the Gold Quill awards). Thank you for respecting our deadlines!

What is the Entry Fee?

Membership Until April 6th at 5:00 PM 5:00 PM on April 6 - 11:59 PM April 24 April 25 - May 1
IABC Member $90 $120 $150
Non-Member $150 $175 $200
Student $50 $65 $75

Judging & Scoring of Entries

Who judges the entries?

Our experienced judges – senior communicators primarily from the IABC Southern Region – not only review and score submissions, they also provide valuable, individualized feedback (super helpful to take your winning entry to the next level with recognition at the Silver Quill and/or Gold Quill level).

How are entries evaluated?

Each entry will be reviewed by two judges, and the final scores will be based on a seven-point scale. The judges also provide valuable, individualized feedback on each entry, which is one of the most valuable aspects of submitting an entry for the Bronze Quill Awards (and is super helpful to take your winning entry to the Silver Quill and/or Gold Quill level).

Each entry is evaluated on technical excellence, creativity, resourcefulness, innovation, effectiveness in identifying and responding to an organization’s or community’s needs, the delivery of measurable outcomes, and the overall success of the project.

Scoring begins at four, which represents a fully competent approach to communication planning and execution. Work is then graded up or down, depending upon the project content, based on IABC’s Global Seven-Point Scale of Excellence.

In the event of a discrepancy of more than 3 points between the two evaluations, a third evaluation will be completed and the final score will be an average of all three.

Winning Entries

What qualifies an entry as a winner?

Winners receive either an Award of Excellence for a score of 5.25 and above or an Award of Merit for a score between 5.0 and 5.24. There is no recognition for scores of less than 5.

IABC’s Global Seven-point Scale of Excellence
7 Outstanding: An extraordinary or insightful approach or result
6 Significantly better than average: Demonstrates an innovative, strategic approach; takes all elements into account and delivers significant results
5 Better than average: Demonstrates a strategic approach and aligns the communication solution with the business need to deliver meaningful results
4 Average: Competent approach or results, professionally sound and appropriate
3 Somewhat less than satisfactory: Several key elements that are critical to the strategy or execution are missing, incorrect or under-represented
2 An inadequate approach or result: A significant number of critical elements are missing
1 Poor: Work that is wrong or inappropriate

I’ve never submitted before. Is there anywhere I can get some guidance on what a winner looks like?

We encourage you to review the resource materials on the Gold Quill site, which includes case studies from past winners, score sheets for each of the divisions so that you will know what evaluators are looking for, and other useful templates.

Where there is a discrepancy between Gold Quill instructions and Bronze Quill Award instructions, the Bronze Quill Award instructions should be followed.

When will winners be announced?

All awards will be announced and presented to winners at the 2020 Bronze Quill Awards Gala on Thursday, June 11 at 6:00 p.m. at the Junior League of Houston. Winners will receive a personalized Bronze Quill Awards trophy. Anyone may attend the gala. Tickets will be available to order online prior to the event.

NOTE: Tickets are not provided to winners. You do not need to be in attendance to win, but you certainly wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to walk across the stage!

Is there a cost for the award trophy?

IABC Houston provides one award at no charge for each Bronze Quill Award winner. If you are unable to attend the Awards Gala, you will need to either provide a shipping account number or pay a shipping and processing fee to have your award(s) sent to you.

If winners would like to order duplicate awards, they may do so following the awards ceremony. All winners will be notified about the procedure for purchasing additional awards via email after June 11.

What other recognition do winners receive?

In addition to the fun and excitement of being recognized at the Bronze Quill Awards Gala and on IABC Houston’s website, winners also receive recognition through our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).

Can an entry be disqualified?

Entries may be disqualified under the following circumstances:

  • Any element of the project violates the IABC Code of Ethics
  • The entrant did not play a role in the project
  • The entry depends mainly on syndicated, borrowed, reprinted or stock material
  • The electronic files contain viruses; they disable or require disabling of any part of the computer system used during evaluation; or evaluators cannot view work samples using the instructions provided


Please e-mail iabchouston@gmail.com referencing the IABC Houston Bronze Quill Awards.

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