For the first time for 2020, the IABC Awards Committee will be hosting a week-by-week breakdown of how to create and submit your 2020 Gold Quill Awards entry!  We are calling it “Couch to Gold Quill” entry development program because, just like when you training for a marathon, you’ll be more successful if you do the work a little at a time and build your stamina (entry) week by week.

Visit this page weekly, or visit our discussion thread in the IABC HUB (member’s only) to join the conversation!

Race Day is 9 January 2020 – will you be ready?

3 September – Ed Kamrin, SCMP, Chair, IABC Awards Committee

Hello all,

When I first entered Gold Quill, I started too late. I skimmed the call for entries, quickly realizing I’d never absorb all the information in time. Naturally, I panicked and cursed my fate. And hours before the draft was due to my boss, I cranked one out.

That ill-fated entry didn’t go on to win an award. Looking back at the process, I realized I’d been overconfident. Around the same time, I ran my first marathon, with much better results. And it occurred to me — what if we could break up a Gold Quill entry into a training plan, starting with short sprints and advancing to the tougher challenges?

That’s the idea behind this fall’s “Couch to Gold Quill” plan. Every week or two, we at the IABC Awards Committee will publish a post. We’ll follow the order of sections in the Communication Management divisions, with excursions into Communication Skills.

Like all else at IABC, this will be a team effort. You’ll hear from my amazing committee colleagues — Ritzi Ronquillo, APR; Maureen Healey, ABC; Gabrielle Loring; and Neil Griffiths, ABC, IABC Fellow. They have a lot of awards to their names, not to mention years of experience as evaluators. We’ll also be guided by the wonderful Michele Liston, CMP, IABC’s Awards Manager.

Entries will appear here in The Hub and in the IABC LinkedIn group. You’re all communication professionals, so you know the drill: ask questions, make comments, and share! I welcome your feedback, and I hope you will make this your year to enter Gold Quill – a true rite of passage for our tribe.

10 September – Maureen Healey, Awards Committee Member

This week you’re going to start your Gold Quill Awards entry by getting approval and funding for your submission. See the pricing and deadlines posted on the Gold Quill Awards website at If you’re following along with our ‘Marathon Training Course’ you’ll want to use the regular deadline pricing.

If you don’t have the authority to approve the cost of the entry fee, you can check out our sample justification letter posted on the website. Simply customize it and send it this week to get the approval process started. Find it under Enter/How to Create Your Entry.

In case you need more inspiration: starting the process now will allow you to use any excess year-end funds or will set you up for inclusion in next year’s budget. Either way you can’t submit unless you have approval and funding – this is your homework for this week.

Personally, I’ve worked for employers that wouldn’t pay for the entries for whatever reason. In those cases, I believed enough in the project to both win and be a stepping-stone to my next job, so I paid for the entries myself. And, in some cases, worked on the entry on my own time. I appreciate these aren’t options for everyone. But, if you believe in the quality of your project, you can find a way to get the recognition you deserve.

Good luck! Don’t forget to post any questions here. The Awards Committee is ready with answers and advice. We’re in this marathon with you!