2014 Awards & Criteria

BOOK AWARDS

For new hardback or paperback books, published during the period October 1 2013 and September 30 2014, singly or within a series.

Revised, updated or republished book are also eligible, providing they have not previously won Garden Media or Garden Writers’ Guild awards.

A. PRACTICAL BOOK OF THE YEAR

Criteria: This award is for the practical book that most clearly demonstrates overall excellence in its market. The winning practical book will cover the nuts and bolts of a particular aspect of gardening or a plant group and will include proven tips and useful methods. It may also include illustrated step-by-step techniques.

The Guild is looking for books that are useful for amateur gardeners. The book’s concept should be a good one, its subject matter must be horticulturally accurate and timely and the writing engaging. The winning book’s layout will be well presented; it will have a good cover and well-organised index. Every aspect of its content must be helpful and practical, including photos and their captions as well as the main text; jargon should be well-explained and techniques made clear. Taken as a whole, the winning book should represent excellent value for money.

B. REFERENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR

Criteria: This award is for the reference book that most clearly demonstrates overall excellence in its market. The winning reference book will be a garden or gardening book that includes factual information and is not usually read all the way through, or chapter by chapter. It can include plant monographs, encyclopaedias, directories and garden guides in a one-off or annual publication.

The Guild is looking for excellent books that will be useful for amateur gardeners. The book’s concept should be a good one, its subject matter must be horticulturally accurate and timely and the writing engaging and factually correct. The winning book’s layout will be well presented; it will have a good cover and a well-organised index to help readers easily find the information they need. Every aspect of its content must be informative, including photos and their captions as well as the main text. Taken as a whole, the winning book should represent excellent value for money and help its readers learn something new about the subject.

C. INSPIRATIONAL BOOK OF THE YEAR

Criteria:
This award is for the inspirational book that most clearly demonstrates overall excellence in its market. Entries for Inspirational Book of the Year may include travel tales, biographies, inspirational plant journeys, diaries, stories or beautiful ‘coffee table’ tomes that inspire the gardener to something new.

The book’s concept should be a good one (not ‘more of the same’), its horticultural subject matter must be accurate and the writing engaging and making it hard to put the book down. The winning book’s layout will be well presented; it will have a good cover and a well-organised index if appropriate to the content. Every aspect of the book (photos, captions, main text) should ooze inspiration and personality. The book’s photography must be well-executed and relevant. Taken as a whole, the winning book should represent excellent value for money.

PRESS AWARDS

The awards will be made to the contributor, section editor or editor as appropriate for material published between October 1 2013 and September 30 2014.

D. GARDEN PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR

Criteria:
This award is for the national or regional gardening magazine, newspaper or gardening supplement that most clearly demonstrates overall excellence, judged from three consecutive issues.

The winning publication will have a foundation of outstanding editorial and design, together with a sure understanding of the needs of its target audience. It will demonstrate audience retention or growth, robust market share and competitive positioning, as well as sound commercial results. Although the judges will note how effectively a brand has been developed across other secondary platforms, the focus for this entry is on the magazine’s excellence in its core area.

The judges will consider the creativity and innovation of the publication, as well as overall performance during 2013/14, such as circulation and readership figures and achievement within the magazine’s competitive set.

The winning publication’s subject matter will be topical, seasonal and horticulturally accurate. The writing will be engaging and the layouts will be well presented and easily navigable. Every aspect of the winning publication will be well executed, including its headlines and standfirsts, photography and picture captions as well as text. It will inspire and inform, reflect and keep abreast of trends and developments in the market and represent excellent value for money.

E. The Dr David Hessayon Garden Columnist of the Year

Criteria:
This award recognises excellence in style and content from garden writers who lead opinion in print and/or online, judged from three features or columns.

Whatever the channel – national, regional or specialist newspaper, consumer or trade magazine or website – judges will be looking for high quality writing in a versatile style appropriate to the audience, along with interesting and informative content, also appropriate to the audience.

The winning entry will show evidence of the writer's technical and horticultural accuracy, readability, originality, imagination and flair, together with their ability to captivate the reader. This category is not judged on the design of the page or any accompanying photography but purely the quality of the writing.

JOURNALISM AWARDS

The awards will be made to the journalist for material published between October 1 2013 and September 30 2014.

The published works need not necessarily be from the same publication.

F. NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR

Criteria:
This award will be made to the writer of the best gardening news story published in any national, regional or specialist newspaper or in any consumer or trade magazine or on any website.

The winning story will be well written and get straight to the heart of the story in a concise and pithy way. The reader will be able to quickly grasp the facts and consequences of the story. The writer of the winning story will be able to demonstrate the impact that the story created in its market, its timeliness and exclusivity (if appropriate) and how they outwitted the competition to get the scoop. Entrants are encouraged to submit evidence of how the story was researched and subsequently developed.

G. Journalist of the Year

There’s a difference between reporting on a story, and really touching the reader. This individual will regularly produce vivid copy with a stunning intro, great use of words and phrasing and a sound structure to their stories.

The judges are looking for memorable, distinctive writing that’s original, entertaining and relevant to the reader as well as insight and new ideas. The winner will have the capacity to avoid clichés and recycling to break new ground and be able to demonstrate that their writing has made an impact beyond the bounds of their publication.

This award will be made to a writer published in magazines, newspapers or on a website or in a horticultural or trade journal and is judged from three pieces of work. This category is not judged on the design of the page or any accompanying photography but purely the quality of the writing.

H. PRACTICAL JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

Criteria:
The winning practical journalist will be able to clearly and accurately explain or describe horticultural techniques. They’ll have the ability to make cyclical, seasonal, instructional content fresh, avoiding ennui and repetitiveness. Their writing style will be as engaging as it is informative and make readers want to go straight out into their gardens to give it a try.

This award will be made to the writer of the best practical gardening column, single article or article from a feature or series, published in a magazine or newspaper or website and is judged from three pieces of work. Although the judges will primarily be looking at the quality of the writing, where photography has been used to accompany the practical advice (e.g. step by step photos), the accuracy and relevance of photos and captions will also be taken into account.

I. TRADE JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

Criteria:
There’s a difference between reporting on a story, and really engaging with the reader. This individual will regularly produce vivid copy with a stunning intro, great use of words and phrasing and a sound structure to their stories.

The judges are looking for memorable, distinctive writing that’s original, entertaining and relevant to the reader as well as insight and new ideas. The winner will have the capacity to avoid clichés and recycling to break new ground and be able to demonstrate that their writing has made an impact beyond the bounds of their publication.

This award will be made to the writer of the best trade column or article from a feature or series, published in a professional horticulture or trade journal or website and is judged from three pieces of work. This category is not judged on the design of the page or any accompanying photography but purely the quality of the writing.

PHOTOGRAPHY

These awards will be made for photographic work that has been in the public domain between October 1 2103 and September 30 2014. ‘Public domain’ includes print media, online media, public exhibition space and publication via stock agency. Each image must be accompanied by a verifiable reference, e.g. publication name and date, URL, exhibition ref, stock usage ref etc.

J. PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Criteria:
This award will be given to the photographer who submits a portfolio of eight published garden and/or plant images that celebrate current standards of excellence in professional garden photography.

The winning photographer will demonstrate the diversity and range of their work and their images will stand out from the pack for their skill and brilliance. Their plant images will showcase spot-on technique and original artistic views of the subject and their garden images will celebrate everything that is special about that particular garden. Judges will consider composition, use of light, depth of field and seasonality.

K. FEATURES PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Criteria:
This award is for the photographer who best illustrates an editorial feature, in print or online. The themed portfolio of five or more images will be relevant to the feature, tell the story without necessarily needing captions and represent at least 80% of all the photographic illustrations published in the context.

The winning photographer’s images will stand out from the pack for their skill and brilliance. The images will bring the story to life while celebrating current standards of excellence in professional garden photography. Judges will consider composition, use of light, depth of field and relevance of the images to the story.

L. BOOK PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Criteria:
This award will be made for photographic work that has been published in books published between October 1 2013 and September 30 2014.

The entries must come from a book where the photographer’s contribution comprises 80% or more of the total photographic content. The winning images will celebrate current standards of excellence in professional garden photography.

The winning photographer’s images will stand out from the pack for their skill and brilliance. Their plant images will showcase spot-on technique and original artistic views of the subject and their garden images will celebrate everything that is special about that particular garden. Judges will consider composition, use of light, depth of field and seasonality.

BROADCASTING

M. TV BROADCAST OF THE YEAR

This award will go to the best national or regional TV gardening broadcast of three minutes or more, including ‘red button’ broadcast, broadcast for the first time between October 1 2013 and September 30 2014. This may be a freestanding item or part of another TV programme.

The winning broadcast will be topical, seasonally relevant and interesting as well as horticulturally accurate. It will have a fresh approach, with engaging and interesting presentation that keeps viewers watching until the end credits roll. It will be well targeted at its chosen audience and well crafted as a piece of television with good use of trailing, music and pacing of editing. Camera work, sound effects and recording levels will be technically brilliant. Any on-screen captioning should be relevant and helpful. Guests and experts will be top quality and add to the programme. Overall it should deliver value to the viewer and most importantly, make for entertaining viewing.

N. RADIO BROADCAST OF THE YEAR

This award will go to the best national or regional radio gardening broadcast, whether a single programme or selected programmes from a series or strand. Entries can include features, documentaries, interviews or phone-ins first broadcast between October 1 2013 and September 30 2104.

The winning radio broadcast will be topical, seasonally relevant and interesting. Its presentation will be engaging and interesting to keep listeners tuned in until the end. It will be well targeted at its chosen audience and well crafted as piece of radio, with good use of trailing, music and pacing of editing. Recording levels, sound effects and audibility will all be technically brilliant. Guests and experts will be top-quality and well chosen for the target audience. It will entertain, inform and inspire in equal measure.

MULTIMEDIA

P. ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD

Criteria:
This award will be made to the writer, photographer or broadcaster who best identifies and chronicles a project that has had a positive benefit on the environment and our guardianship of it.

It is open to all media and the judges will look for work that clearly demonstrates the environmental benefits of the subject matter, which could include topics such as increasing biodiversity, conservation, recycling, the value of locking up carbon, ways to lessen the threat of climate change.

These topics will be tackled with flair and imagination as well as clarity. The quality of the writing, photography or broadcasting will be excellent and display technical and factual accuracy. Written articles will not be judged on the design of the page or any accompanying photography but purely the quality of the writing.

R. THE ALAN TITCHMARSH NEW TALENT AWARD

Criteria:
This award will be made to people who have made brilliant first steps in the world of garden media, print, broadcast, photography and/or online between October 1 2013 and September 30 2014.

The winning person will be new to garden media but will demonstrate the best talent and most potential in his or her field of communication(s). Regardless of role or age, their career will be on a steeply upward trajectory, earning the respect of their peers through their achievements. They will demonstrate an inherent skill for communication, imagination and flair for what they do as well as technical and horticultural accuracy.

DIGITAL MEDIA AWARDS

These awards will be made for online media that was live between October 1 2013 and September 30 2014.

S(a). BLOG OF THE YEAR

Criteria:
This is award is for the best blog that showcases excellent and engaging content, judged from viewing the live blog plus supporting entry details.

The winning blog will be entertaining and friendly, giving the reader a real sense of the human behind it and their personality. It will be well written and informative with clear and relevant information about gardening and/or plants. It will be up to date and consistent with good photos to help tell the story. The winning blogger will be able to demonstrate that their blog has a good following and the blog as a whole will be visually appealing.

S(b). WEBSITE OF THE YEAR

Criteria:
This award will be given to the best gardening website, judged from viewing the live website plus supporting entry details.

The winning website will demonstrate success in growing the number of impressions, original users and revenue, as well as the impact the site has achieved, including links from other sites and media coverage.

The judges will look for creativity and good, original ideas, particularly innovation in the online medium. The winning website will make the most of the unique qualities of online and not just be a print magazine on screen. Its content will be horticulturally accurate and informative, plus relevant to its target audience.

It will be regularly updated, well designed and visually appealing with good use of colour. Its layout will be clear, not confusing and it will be easily navigable and searchable. All of its pages will work, it will load quickly and interactive features will be sound and intuitive. Advanced features such as slide shows and video must work and add value.

T. NEW MEDIA AWARD (APP OF THE YEAR)

Criteria:
This award recognises excellence in the development of digital products. It will be given to the best software application (app) designed to be downloaded to a device operating system such as iPhone and iPad or the Android equivalent and flip book effect e-magazines/online magazines that have been launched/published between October 1 2013 and September 30 2014.

Applications will be judged on the quality of content, innovation and user-experience. Key criteria will be evidence of user value and competitive market performance, measured by pages accessed per user, site traffic, average time spent with the product, interactivity, user research, response for advertisers, revenue growth, and strong performance at the bottom line. Judges will also expect to see evidence of innovation, creative flair, strong design values, excellent product development, and robust usability.

The Savoy, London
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