Silver Quill FAQs

Silver Quill

IABCSilverQuillLogo877master_NEW.jpgQ: Why should I enter my work in Silver Quill?
A: You can:
  • Benchmark your work against best practices in organizational communication
  • Obtain a valuable critique of your work from experienced professionals in the field
  • Use a disciplined method for achieving excellence in communications
  • Enhance your stature within your organization
  • Use entries for the required work samples when you apply for professional accreditation
  • Gain feedback to enter the IABC Gold Quill competition

 And if you win ... it’s a great conversation-starter to place on your resume or CV!

Q: Who should enter Silver Quill?
A: The sky’s the limit. If you touch communications in any form, you’re a communicator and we welcome your project.  If you’re unsure, please review the categories on the Call for Entries.

Q: Who is eligible?
A. All business communicators in the Heritage Region are eligible to enter. You do not need to be an IABC member to enter. The 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.

The entrant listed on the entry form must have had direct and primary involvement in implementing the project submitted. Agencies are welcome to enter work done on behalf of their clients, but you may not submit work under someone else’s name.

Q: Can I list more than one entrant?
A: List only one entrant and the entrant’s organization on the entry form. If your entry wins an award, you will have the opportunity to order additional Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit for the other principals.

Q: How do I enter?
A: For each entry:

Q: How many awards will be given?
A:  Entries with a qualifying score will receive Awards of Excellence and /or Awards of Merit; however, judges are not required to give awards if no entries qualify. All judging decisions are final.

Q: Will I be notified that my entry has been received?
A: Once you submit your entry with payment online, you will receive a confirmation email.

Q: Who evaluates the entries?
A: Evaluators include experienced communicators who are IABC members. They have participated in Evaluator Training to apply IABC’s Seven Point Scale of Excellence consistently.

Q: How do evaluators score the entries?
A: Each entry is evaluated independently by at least two trained evaluators who provide scoring and feedback.  Weighting of the work summary and work sample varies depending on the division.
      Division 1 Communication Research Management: work plan 50%; work sample 50%
      Division 2 Communication Management: work plan 50%; work sample 50%
      Division 3 Communication: work plan 35%; work sample 65%
      Division 4 Communication Training and Education: work plan 50%; work sample 50%

Evaluators look for evidence of careful planning and documentation of an entry’s success through well-defined objectives with measurable results. Quantitative results are highly desired. Evaluators consider how well a program is conceived, created and executed for its intended audiences, as well as how appropriate the strategy and objectives are in relation to the results desired and achieved. All evaluations receive a quality control check.

IABC award entries are scored using the Global Seven-point Scale of Excellence℠. All marks start at 4, which represents a fully competent approach to communication planning and execution. Work is graded up or down, depending on the content and execution of the project. Marks of 7 or 1 are very rare. Half-points may be awarded.

You can download the score sheets:
Communication Skills Division
Communication Management Divisions

 Q: Can I submit several different entries? How about for the same project?
A: You may submit as many different entries as you wish. The same project can be entered in multiple categories.  We highly suggest tailoring your work plan significantly as scoring will vary based on category. Fill in a separate entry form for each entry, as well as the full fee for each.

Q: Will I receive feedback?
A: Yes! You will receive an electronic score sheet incorporating the work of both evaluators . It will identify your entry’s strengths and areas for improvement. Since we’ve moved to electronic delivery, we’ve found that the judges are able to expand on their written evaluations to provide valuable feedback.


Silver Quill Awards
If you have questions, contact Alexandra Hichel, Heritage Region Silver Quill chair, at

Other Awards

Gold Quill Awards
The Gold Quill Awards Program is IABC’s premier program recognizing and fostering excellence in the field of business communication. 

Deadline: 9 January 2019
Late deadline: 29 January 2019 

Learn more...

Fellow Designation
The highest honor IABC confers on a member, the Fellow designation recognizes outstanding contributions to the association and the communication profession. Learn more...

Rae Hamlin Award
This award is bestowed annually upon an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) in recognition of exemplary volunteer service.

 Chair's Award
The Chair’s Award is conferred annually upon volunteer IABC members whose efforts, which include positively enhancing the organization’s reputation and image, have gone above and beyond that of what volunteers may usually undertake. Selected by the international executive board (IEB) Chair, any current IABC member active for the previous five years may be nominated for the award.

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