How to be a winner in the 2018 Plain English Awards

Image of Melissa Mebus. Her brown hair is styled in a messy updo and she is smiling widely at the camera. June 2018

Winning an award is the best way to have your work recognised — or your team’s. And for business or technical writers, or people working in communications, the annual Plain English Awards are as good as it gets. Melissa Mebus is a plain language consultant at Write Limited and project manager of the 2018 Plain English Awards. She offers us some trophy tips for success in the 2018 Plain English Awards.

Tips for success from those in the know

In the build-up to the opening of this year’s Plain English Awards, we held a Trophy Tips Seminar in Wellington last month, which was also broadcast through Facebook Live.

Before the seminar, we surveyed former winners and judges of the Awards to gather some tips for aspiring winners. While responses varied slightly, their main messages were clear and simple.

Best advice for aspiring winners

In short, the people we surveyed said that winning entries demonstrated similar traits:

  • short sentences
  • crystal-clear headings
  • readers’ needs prioritised

Common mistakes to avoid

To ensure your entry gets through the first phase of judging, survey respondents recommended that entrants avoid some common pitfalls:

  • unclear headings
  • long-windedness
  • excessive wordiness
  • poorly organised content

For more tips on how to submit a winning entry in the 2018 Plain English Awards, view our Trophy Tips Seminar.

Get in touch if you have any questions

You’re welcome to ask questions at any time: We’re here to help! See more about the Awards on our website.