Tips on writing your entries for the International Content Marketing Awards

By Ann Booth-Clibborn on
writing award entry

You’ve decided to enter the most prestigious awards in the content marketing industry – well done, you’re on your way to getting the adulation your team deserves and the recognition from clients and peers for your excellent work.

Now all you have to write the entry!

While we can’t write it for you, we can provide you with helpful tips on how to submit your entries to ensure you’re giving it the best chance possible to win a coveted award or two.

Prioritise clarity and good storytelling 

Create this entry for the judge, not the client or not your colleagues. Your judge wants to do the very best for you and completely understand your process, BUT they will also have a lot of other entries to read that day. So, imagine you are preparing this for someone who might not be intimately familiar with your sector, and who is reading this last thing at night on the train home. I am not saying they will be reading it on a train but make it that easy to read and digest.


Layout: Think magazine, not PowerPoint. Do not drown the judge in text, use other mediums to tell the story; photographs, testimonials, or simple infograms. Make navigation easy by making each chapter of the story clear by the way you lay out your text and visuals in the entry. 

Language: Do not use industry jargon or extra words just to ‘puff it up’. Make this a frictionless experience for the judge and save their resources for understanding your key points. e.g. Don’t say ‘multiple’ when you can say many or several. Don’t say ‘dedicated workshop’, if you are running a workshop on a topic, it’s a given that it is dedicated to that topic.


Tell the story, give me the arc of your journey to help me understand the big picture.  The end result is only one piece of the entry, of course, and the end result is really important, but if I don’t understand how it came to be, I may miss why it is particularly good. 

How do you tell the story?

Point of View – organise the story from the point of view of the audience i.e. they might not be experts in your field, they have a lot of entries to read, and they want to understand very quickly and clearly what makes your entry stand out. I prefer a more conversational tone than broadcast e.g. “X is hard to pin down as a business. Our works spans many disciplines, but we are all united under a common vision” prefer this to “internationally recognised business with global reach”.

Different World – help the judge visualise the journey of this entry because this is a huge help to their understanding of it, and remembering it. Look for ways to describe with words or illustrate, it could be the people involved, the processes you went through, the culture or industry climate that this project existed in and/or the impact it had.

Jeopardy – the judge can only see the end work, not necessarily all the skills used to get there. What problems did you resolve? What did you overcome? 

The Arc – Before AND After. What did you start with? What was the status quo? Help the judge understand what transformation you have implemented – so the endpoint is more meaningful. Show ‘before’ if you can, it helps understand the judge how far that creative journey has taken you.

Ann hosted this award writing session as a webinar with the CMA. For a more detailed discussion on creating a great entry, watch the webinar replay.

After training in storytelling at the BBC Academy, Ann turned her attention to unlocking the natural storytelling skills of leaders, innovators and experts, to equip them with the tools to engage and inspire their audiences.

Ann’s client sectors are as varied as the stories they have to tell but include, LOROL (public infrastructure), Origin Housing (Charity), Draper London (luxury linen), Molson Coors (beer), Speechstorm (digital start-up), Exeter University, and Quarto Publishing. She uses her storytelling expertise to judge awards and help create award-winning entries.

She put together some tips to help you create an award-winning entry for the International Content Marketing Awards.

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