Sunday, March 03, 2013

Grimmies: Awards for Outstanding Obituary Writing

Grimmies: SPOW Awards
During the Society of Professional Obituary Writers (SPOW) Conference to be held in Toronto June 7-9, the organization will present Grimmies - awards honoring outstanding obituary work that was published in 2011 and 2012.

These will be SPOW’s first awards following the death beaters’ reorganization hiatus.

As always, SPOW especially wants to recognize distinguished obit writing done by reporters and freelance writers, who regularly work on the death beat. SPOW also wants to feature news obituaries that stand out in the judges’ eyes. Obits presented on radio, television, blogs and other online entities will also be considered.

Because of the short window for submitting and judging obits this time, we will accept entries in only five categories. More than one honoree may be chosen from each category depending on the number of entries received and at the judges’ discretion.

Category 1: Body of Work published in 2011.

Submit five obituaries written by one author that were published in 2011.
 
 
Category 2: Body of Work published in 2012.

Submit five obituaries written by one author that were published in 2012.
 
 
Category 3: Outstanding obituaries published in 2011.

Individual obits (published in 2011), which you believe deserve recognition. These can be obits about famous folks or everyday people. They should definitely be well-written and reported, hold the readers’ interest and highlight the deceased’s life. If appropriate, please include a brief letter with the entered obit explaining out-of-the box approaches to the writing of the obit, difficulties that were overcome in getting the story, the obit’s impact on the community, its relevance in regards to the news of the day (i.e. elections, gun violence) or some other significance our judges might not see automatically.
 
 
Category 4: Outstanding obituaries published in 2012.

Individual obits (published in 2012), which you believe deserve recognition. These can be obits about famous folks or everyday people. They should definitely be well-written and reported, hold the readers’ interest and highlight the deceased’s life. If appropriate, please include a brief letter with the entered obit explaining out-of-the box approaches to the writing of the obit, difficulties that were overcome in getting the story, the obit’s impact on the community, its relevance in regards to the news of the day (i.e. elections, gun violence) or some other significance our judges might not see automatically.
 
In the past, the judges divided longer word-count obits from shorter obits in judging the various categories. This time, that distinction will not be made as the works are entered. However, the judges have the discretion to make the length of the obits a factor when selecting the honorees.
 
 
Category 5: Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lifetime Achievement Awards are designed to recognize recipients for their dedication to the craft and profession of obit writing over time. Factors include how the obit writer inspired or affected fellow obit writers, fellow journalists, funeral directors, bereaved families, readers and the community.
 
Anyone can nominate an obituary writer for Lifetime honors, and no entry fee is involved.

Letters of nomination should include the name of the obituary writer, a brief bio, work history, why this individual deserves to be honored and examples of obits the nominee has written.
The name of and contact information for the sender must be included in the letter of nomination.
Two Lifetime recipients will be honored at the 2013 SPOW Conference to make up for not having an LA recipient in 2012.
The nominations for nominees, who are not selected this year, will automatically be added to the nominations in subsequent years.
 
To Enter:

All submissions will be handled online. Send submissions by category to obitwriters.org@gmail.com. The deadline is May 4, 2013.

Type the category name in the subject line.
 
In the body of the email, include the name of the obituary writer, headline and/or name of the obit subject, name of publication, date of publication and contact information for obit writer and an editor or other appropriate person at that publication. Also include links to the obits under consideration.

If links are not available, please copy the obit text to a Word document and send as attachments to the email.
 
It is understood that by entering this contest, the obituary writer and the news organization grant the Society of Professional Obituary Writers permission to post the entered obituary or obituaries online and to use excerpts for purposes of discussion on SPOW's Obituary Forum blog at http://www.obituaryforum.blogspot.com.
 
 
Entry fees

The entry fee for each obit submitted in Categories 3 and 4 is $25. The entry fee for the 5-obit package submitted in Categories 1 and 2 is $50. Each obit included in each 5-obit package for Category 1 will also be entered in Category 3. The same goes for the 5 obits for Category 2. Each will also be considered under Category 4.

Go to Eventbrite at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5639271212# to pay entry fees and SPOW Conference registration. (Conference registration info has not been posted at Evenbrite yet.) 

 

 

1 comment:

jenjwms said...

I so wish I could come to this conference! I have been hearing about obit writers conferences and how much fun they are. However, I've already planned an O/S visit this year and can't afford another! I live in Australia.
I am studying obituaries and obituary writing for my Masters of Journalism thesis this year and I believe the conference would have been the perfect place to learn a huge amount and meet everyone I've been harassing for information - in one place. So, I am bitterly disappointed that I don't own a private jet.... I hope you will be having another conference in 2014 and I will keep my eye on this blog to hear about how this year's conference goes. Cheerio!
Jennifer King (Brisbane, Australia)