How to Enter


All eligible work must be implemented, published or broadcast between January 2018 and the day of submission. Entries that have won in previous years may not be resubmitted.


You must upload your entry and pay the registration fee before the deadline noted. Full payment must be received for all entries you submit before or on the closing date to be eligible for evaluation.

Work plans for Divisions 1, 2 and 3 are limited to four pages using a font size no smaller than 10-point and margins no less than 0.5 inch (1.27 cm). A template is available here.

For Division 4, Communication Skills, in lieu of the work plan, there are additional questions that will appear on the online entry form for you to complete.  A preview of these questions is available here.

Award submissions must be in English. Unfortunately we cannot accept entries in other languages at this time.

Work done for IABC at the international level is not eligible for this program.

Entries may be disqualified if:

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

If you are a consultant and your work was done for a client, you must include client permission for your entry, or it may be disqualified.  A sample authorization letter is available here.


The IABC Heritage Region Silver Quill Awards Program is open to IABC members and non-members of the region and beyond.

The IABC Heritage Region covers Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.

If you are in the geographic location for Pacific Plains Region or for Southern Region, we encourage you to enter their programs. You are welcome to enter your project in more than one region.

Student Entries

A student or group of students may also submit entries. At the time the work was created, the student must have been attending school full time, working toward a degree at a college, university or other institution of higher

learning. Entrants who were enrolled as a student but have professional communication experience or are employed in the communication profession must submit their entry as a professional member or non-member.

Work produced for educational courses, a club or volunteer association, an internship, or commercial or noncommercial activities, including work for an IABC chapter or region, is eligible for submission. If the assignment was not fully implemented, please make note of this in your work plan. It will not disqualify your entry; however, you must show how the program would have been evaluated, had it been implemented in practice. Professors, lecturers or advisers may not enter on behalf of a student.


Your entry has two key elements: the work plan and the work sample.

THE WORK PLAN - uploaded as a PDF file

The work plan is an executive summary of your communication strategy. It can be no more than four pages. The smallest size font you may use is 10-point. Edit your plan to ensure that it is clear and concise. Bullets, tables and lists might help you save space.

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

• Provide an abbreviated tactical execution plan

• Discuss any challenges that you faced during planning and execution

• Demonstrate collaboration with stakeholders, if appropriate

• Provide measurable, meaningful results that are aligned with your stated measurable objectives and audience and business needs

• Ensure your work plan references your work sample and also assists the evaluators to navigate through your entry and find the examples that best illustrate your work continued


The work sample is the supporting material that illustrates how you planned and implemented your communication program. 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 very 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 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.

You may upload a total of five work samples. The award entry platform allows you to upload your work samples by the type. It will not keep track of how many you have entered, so be sure you limit the total number of uploads to five.

• Work samples may be in the following formats: .pdf, .png, .jpg, .gif, .tif, .mp3, .mp4, .wmv, .m4v or .mov, and must not be larger than 2 GB.

• Please do not upload any further written material as the judges will not consider these. The written component of your entry should be fully explained within the provided form fields.

How to Enter Division 4

You do not need to complete a detailed work plan for the Communication Skills division. Instead, you will need to complete a brief online questionnaire on the awards entry website and submit it along with your work sample. The work sample should represent the full scope of your work.

Disqualification Criteria

Entries may be disqualified if any of the following applies:

• The work plan exceeds four pages;

• Any element of the project violates the IABC Code of Ethics for Professional Communicators;

• It is obvious 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 or they disable or require disabling of any part of the computer system used

during evaluation;

• Evaluators cannot view work samples using the instructions provided;

• Work performed on behalf of a client that does not include a client permission letter;

• Entries that have previously won a Silver Quill award;

• Work done for IABC at the International level;

• Entry is incomplete.

Ready to Enter

Have a client authorization letter ready if submitting work done on behalf of a client.
If entering Divisions 1, 2 or 3:
Have your work plan in PDF ready.
Have no more than 5 work samples ready.

If entering Division 4:
Write out your answers to the online questionnaire to easily past into the entry form.
Have no more than 5 work samples ready.

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