Entry postmark deadline is Jan. 23, 2004.

Nov. 24, 2003 —Look closely at the 26th edition of the Call for Entries that will soon kick off the 2004 ASBPE Awards of Excellence contest. While it may not seem much different from last year’s, you’ll find some striking changes.

Most notable is our new Stephen Barr Award, which we announced last July. Through this prize, ASBPE for the first time will honor a feature writer for her or his individual work. We will also bestow our first monetary reward on the winner: $500, to go with a handsome crystal trophy.

The award is endowed by the family of Stephen Barr, a perennial ASBPE excellence-award winner in his role as senior contributing editor of CFO magazine. Barr died of cancer in 2002 at age 43.

Contest entrants won’t compete directly for the Barr Award. Rather, a panel of judges will select the “best in show” among the top feature-writing categories, identifying the finest example of writing that displays the qualities Barr’s work exemplified:

  • inventiveness of approach,
  • insight and balance in the presentation of
    a complex subject,
  • depth of investigation, and
  • impact among the community of readers.

Two Newsletter Categories Added

In response to a growing number of requests, ASBPE is adding two categories to its comprehensive list: industry newsletter and e-newsletter, aimed at a single industry or business specialty and honoring:

  • breadth and depth of coverage,
  • editing, reporting, and writing quality, and
  • value to the readers.

In the newsletter category, entries are open to for-profit or not-for-profit print publications with various distribution frequencies. Entering publications need not be listed in Standard Rate & Data Service’s (SRDS) Business Publication Advertising Source, and need not accept paid ads.

In the e-newsletter category, entries are open to for-profit and nonprofit electronic newsletters with various distribution frequencies. They, too, need not accept advertising. Particular attention is paid to the impact of the subject-line head, efficacy of item summaries or teasers, and clarity of the e-newsletter to users.

Free Membership Award

Look, too, at the nonmonetary rewards that come with winning a national ASBPE Gold. For the first time, named Gold winners will receive free membership for the next year, a $75 value. We know the winners will be great ambassadors for the organization.

Entry Deadline, Fees

All submissions must have a postmark or ship date of Jan. 23, 2004 — a week earlier than last year’s deadline.

Entry fees per submission are the same as last year: $70 for members and $90 for nonmembers, except for the Magazine of the Year, which is $90 for members and
$115 for nonmembers.

The ASBPE board has also made minor revisions in the booklet we hope will make the instructions clearer and simpler. Comments from the membership are welcome because upgrading the awards mechanism is a continuing enterprise.

Be on the lookout for the Call for Entries booklet, which should be mailed to members and available on our Web site soon.

Last year, ASBPE had 2,256 entries in the 25th annual awards, the second largest level ever. This year, we’re shooting for a record: topping the 2,529 entries received in 2001. Acknowledging our industry’s excellent work is one of the best ways to encourage even more excellence in the future.

See a list of last year’s national winners (284K PDF).