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Each year, the GWA Awards Committee Chair seeks the best talent from within and outside the field of garden communications to review and assess the annual entries to the Garden Writers Association Media Awards Program. Professionals from various disciplines are recruited for their expertise in writing, photography, graphic design, illustration, radio & television communications and trade media. Also considered in recruitment for the program are the type of media like books, newspapers, magazines, Internet, radio, television and others. Once chosen, some judges work as independent genre specialists from their home base while the majority are brought to Washington, DC, for a weekend of intensive effort.
The first day, judges are paired into teams based on their personal expertise, like book writing, magazine writing, photography, etc. Awards entries are reviewed in accordance with their submission category, and each judge assigns a score based on his or her evaluation of how that entry compares to a predetermined set of objective criteria. Judging at this level does not compare one entry to another.
From the first day's judging, all entries with scores in the top 10 percent of each category are awarded the SILVER AWARD OF ACHIEVEMENT. These award recipients are then judged for their talent and product qualities in a competitive comparison of each entry. All writing judges evaluate all writing entries. Photography judges review all photography entries, etc. Each group of judges chooses the GOLD AWARD FOR BEST TALENT for writing, photography, graphic design, illustration, radio, television, Internet, etc.
In the final phase, Best Talent recipient entries are combined with the overall product entries to compete for GOLD AWARD FOR BEST PRODUCT, i.e., book, magazine, newspaper, Web site, etc. Gold Award recipients are kept secret until the GWA Awards Banquet that will be held at the 61st GWA Annual Symposium in Raleigh, NC, on September 26, 2009.
All judges and committee members are volunteers and serve without compensation.
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