Every year, IABC’s Gold Quill Awards program recognizes work from around the world that soars to new heights.

Learn more about the awards.

The final entry deadline for the 2018 Gold Quill Awards has passed – 2019 submissions will open this fall.


Download a printable PDF of the 2018 call for entries.


There are two key elements to your entry: the work plan and the work sample.

The work plan is an executive summary of your communication strategy and MUST be used for entries in Divisions 1, 2, and 3. It can be no more than four pages. Edit your plan to ensure it’s clear and concise. Bullets, tables and lists might help you with saving space.

If you’re entering the same program or elements of the program in multiple categories, be sure to tailor your work plan so it fits each category.

Your work plan should:

  • Describe the context for your program or project.
  • Clearly state the communication challenge or opportunity.
  • Provide an analysis of your target audiences.
  • Demonstrate high-level goals and measurable objectives stated as outputs or outcomes.
  • Provide insight into your strategic approach.
  • Highlight the efficient use of resources.
  • Provide an abbreviated tactical execution plan.
  • Discuss any challenges that you faced during planning and execution, and demonstrate collaboration with stakeholders, if appropriate.
  • Provide measurable, meaningful results that are aligned with your stated objectives and audience and business needs.
  • Ensure your work plan references your work sample and assists the evaluators to navigate through your entry and find the examples that best illustrate your work.

The work sample is the supporting material that illustrates how you planned and implemented your communication program. It can include video and audio files, Word documents, PDFs, magazines, brochures and website links. Your work sample should represent the full scope of your work—evaluators are looking for actual, real examples of the work you did. However, bear in mind that evaluators have limited time to review your submission. A well-organized work sample that demonstrates the best of your efforts will score higher than an overwhelming number of items that evaluators can’t sort through.

Organize and condense your work sample to showcase a representative overview of your project. Pick examples (clips, photos, etc.) that best support your work plan and represent your strategy. Be creative in demonstrating how the elements of your work sample are aligned with the business needs and audience preferences.

Please also keep in mind that large files are difficult to upload and download, so please condense the file size as much as possible. The maximum file size is 2 GB.

However you present your work sample, please ensure it is readable!

For more help preparing your entry, see our resources for entering divisions 1, 2 and 3.


You do not need to complete a detailed work plan for the Communication Skills division. Instead, you will need to complete a brief entry form on the awards entry website and submit it along with your work sample. Each question has limited character counts for responses. The work sample should represent the full scope of your work.

The Communication Skills division entry form has six questions:

  1. Describe your organization. (maximum 800 characters, including spaces)
  2. Why was this project undertaken? (maximum 600 characters, including spaces)
  3. Who was the audience(s) for this project? What do you know about the audience? (maximum 600 characters, including spaces)
  4. List up to three key measurable objectives for the project. How well did the project meet the objectives? (maximum 600 characters, including spaces)
  5. List up to three key messages for the project. (maximum 600 characters, including spaces)
  6. Describe the resources (budget, time, others) available for the project and how effectively they were managed. (maximum 600 characters, including spaces)

For more help preparing your entry, see our resources for entering division 4.

Questions? Email us at: recognition@iabc.com.