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FAQs About APEX 2020
The 32nd Annual Awards for Publication Excellence Competition
Sponsored by the Editors of Writer's Web Watch, published by Communications Concepts, Inc. Best Practices in Print, Web & ePublishing
ENTER ONLINE -- Complete all your entries online. No paperwork, mailing or shipping. Just fill out the online entry form, upload your entries and pay on our secure online site. That's all there is to it.
Where can I enter APEX?
Enter online at our secure Entry Site. Simply fill out the online Easy Entry Form.
What is the entry deadline? Your deadline for online entries is February 15th, 2020.
If you'd like to be notified when APEX 2020 Awards are announced, and of any APEX 2020 news or updates, please sign up to receive our free email newsletter, Writer's Web Watch. (We will not give or sell your email address to anyone. And you can remove your email address at any time with a single click.)
You may enter in any of 100 categories under 12 main headings, including newsletters; magazines, journals and tabloids; annual reports; print media; electronic media; social media; apps; websites; campaigns, programs and plans; writing; design and illustration; and special publications.
Should I send hardcopy samples of my "print" entries?
No. You'll want to upload your print entry using the online Entry Form. Let's say you have a printed magazine. If your printed magazine is posted online, say at your website, you can simply upload the URL link on the Entry Form. Or, you can upload a PDF, or other file, on the Entry Form. Either is acceptable.
Note: If you have a print publication, such as a magazine, that you also post online for people to read or download there, then you can enter that publication in either print categories or electronic categories, or both.
What is APEX and who sponsors it?
APEX is the Annual Awards for Publication Excellence Competition. It is open to communicators in corporate, nonprofit and independent settings. This is the 31st annual APEX, which began in 1988.
APEX is sponsored by Communications Concepts, Inc., and by the editors of Writer's Web Watch, the online newsletter for communicators who write, edit and manage publications, and the Writing That Works Archives. Both are published by Communications Concepts, Inc., which has provided problem-solving information to professional communicators for more than a quarter of a century.
What does Communications Concepts, the APEX sponsor, do?
Communications Concepts, Inc. advises publishing, PR and marketing professionals on best practices to improve their publications and communications programs.
Concepts has published Writer's Web Watch, the Writing That Works Archives and their predecessors since 1984. Writer's Web Watch is an online newsletter advising professionals on practical writing, editing and communication strategies. Subscribers include corporate, nonprofit, agency and freelance communicators.
Concepts also publishes reports on business writing and communications, and provides consulting services to organizations in the field.
APEX Entry Forms
What can I enter?
You can enter materials produced or dated from January 1, 2019 through February 2020, even if they carry a later date.
Do I fill out the Entry Form entirely online?
Yes. APEX is an entirely online awards competition. You do everything online. You can fill out the Easy Entry Form online, you can upload your entries online, and you can pay online. There's no need to pack entries and pay for shipping them.
Will the online Easy Entry Form save the data I enter?
Yes. If you start to enter online, but don't finish, you can return later to complete your entries, by clicking the Save button on the bottom of the form. Whatever data you entered will have been saved, so you won't have to start over from scratch. When you are ready to submit, click the Add to Cart button.
If you have multiple entries, you'll only have to enter your contact information once. Fill out your first submission and click Add to Cart. In the cart screen, click Make Another Submission, and repeat the process until you are ready to check out. When you're finished, the Payment Screen will show the total amount due for your entries.
After you enter and pay online, you'll receive an immediate email receipt.
If you have multiple entries, you'll only have to enter your payment information once.
Do I have to upload written descriptions of my entries and what I tried to accomplish with them?
No. You may enter additional comments in the optional Comments field on the Online Entry Form, but they are not required.
How will I know you got my uploaded entry files?
When you upload your entry files, you'll see a preview of the file. The title of your upload will display, along with the file type (e.g., pdf, jpg, etc.).
When you submit your entries for judging, you'll receive an automatic email notification. And when you enter and pay online, you'll receive an automatic email receipt. (If you pay offline by check for your online entries, you'll receive an email receipt once we receive your check and update your account.)
Can I enter more than one category?
Yes. You can enter as many as you like. Each entry requires a $179 entry fee.
Can I enter the same publication in more than one category?
Yes. There is no restriction. You'll need to add another entry page (you can copy the first entry page and make minor changes) and entry fee for each category in which you enter the same publication.
What does "Custom-Published" mean?
"Custom-Published" refers to a publication customized to the specific needs of a client by an outside agency or firm. The outside agency produces the entire publication, including editorial, design and printing. Client staff participate by setting goals for, and evaluating progress of, the publication. Client staff also may provide content ideas, and in some cases, a limited amount of editorial content.
We qualify for the Small Office designation on the Easy Entry Form. Should we check it?
Yes. If you qualify for the Small Office designation, you're entitled to check that box. That designation is intended to provide a more "level playing field" for entries from organizations -- whether nonprofit or for profit -- with smaller publication staffs. If you check Small Office, your entries will be evaluated in relation to other Small Office entries in your category.
"Small Office" only refers to the number of publication staff in your organization.
You are considered a Small Office if your organization has 1 to 5 publications staff.
How many copies should I upload of each entry?
Upload one copy for each entry. When uploading a periodical, such as a magazine, upload the single best issue. When entering a writing series, upload a maximum of three (3) articles in the series.
How should I enter articles?
If it's easier, you can upload just the article, rather than the entire publication.
What should I upload for "Most Improved" entries?
For Most Improved and Best Redesigns and Best Rewrites categories, upload one sample of the old publication, project or article, and one sample of the new publication, project or article.
"Old"-- from January 1, 2016 on
"New"-- from January 1, 2019 on.
For Most Improved periodicals (newsletters, magazines, journals, tabloids), upload one issue of the old periodical, and one sample of the new periodical.
"Old"-- from January 1, 2016 on
"New"-- from January 1, 2019 on.
Any tips for filling out the entry form?
YES! Accuracy counts! Should you win an award, you'll want your name and/or your organization name on the the Entry Page correctly spelled!!! Double check that your 'Contact Person' address is correct, including any room or suite numbers, mail stops, postal zip codes, etc.
Finally, give your entry forms a quick check to make sure no important information is missing.
Will the judges nitpick my entry forms?
No. When we receive your entries, we'll make every effort to check them to make sure your publications are entered in appropriate categories. (They almost always are.) In the very rare cases where they are not, the judges will move them to more appropriate categories (where you'll have a better chance of winning). We won't simply disqualify them.
If needed information is missing from your entry form (again, a rare event), we'll try to contact you. We won't just disqualify your entry and move on.
1. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube entries include corporate, nonprofit, agency and freelance pages.
2. Forums & Wikis may be entered in any appropriate Website, Electronic or Social Media categories.
3. Public Safety & Emergency materials may be entered in the Government categories, and any other appropriate categories.
What are the judging criteria?
APEX awards are based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content and the success of the entry—in the opinion of the judges—in achieving overall communications effectiveness and excellence.
Who are the judges?
The panel of judges includes John De Lellis, Concepts Editor & Publisher; Kenneth J. Turtoro, APEX Executive Editor and noted publishing and marketing executive with management stints at Elsevier, Penton Publishing, Medical Economics, Chemical Week Associates, Lebhar-Friedman and Reed (Cahners) Travel Group, among others; Christine Turner, Contributing Editor of Writer's Web Watch and Writing That Works; and Bill Londino, Consulting Editor of Writer's Web Watch.
Who can enter APEX?
The APEX AWARDS Competition is open to communicators in corporate, nonprofit and independent settings—including companies, freelancers, advertising and communications agencies, associations, national, regional, state/provincial, city and local government agencies, and other public and private institutions.
Do I need expensive publications to win an APEX award?
Not at all. Obviously, the judges see some pretty slick stuff produced at great cost. But we also get modestly-funded publications that show strong creative strategies and effective communication. They also win APEX awards.
Can I enter APEX even if I'm a non-subscriber?
Yes! You do not have to subscribe to Writer's Web Watch to enter APEX.
What is the entry fee?
$179 per entry.
If I pay by credit card, under what name will the charge appear on my credit card statement?
The charge for your entries in the APEX Awards, sponsored by Communications Concepts, Inc., will appear on your credit card statement as "APEX AWARDS", or something like "COMM CONCEPTS/APEX" or they may simply display some variant of "COMMUNICATIONS CONCEPTS, INC."
Do I need your federal I.D. number?
No, you do not. Since Communications Concepts, Inc. is a corporation, you are not required to obtain a 1099 tax form from us.
And since Communications Concepts, Inc. is a corporation, you are not required to obtain Concepts' federal I.D. number in order to send an APEX entry fee, order additional certificates, subscribe to our free Writer's Web Watch newsletter or purchase special reports or services.
To minimize identity theft, we do not publish our federal I.D. number.
My entry includes confidential information. How can I be sure that you won't publish or showcase it in a Concepts publication?
Simply tell us it's confidential in the Comments field on the online Easy Entry Form.
How and when will I find out if I won an award?
All entrants will receive a list of winning entries in July. APEX Award winners will be listed in a special Awards Report. Grand Award winners will receive attractive plaques commemorating their winning entries. Award of Excellence winners will receive attractive certificates describing their winning entries, suitable for framing.
APEX Award winners may display the APEX logo in their publications, social media, and on their web and intranet sites.
If I win an APEX award, can I order more award certificates?
Yes. APEX winners will receive order information with their award certificates, and may order additional certificates for co-workers, supporting vendors and clients.
If I win an APEX award, can I display the APEX logo in my winning publication or website?
Yes. All APEX Award winners receive "APEX WINNER" Logos for use in their own publications. Electronic versions of the APEX logo (GIF, JPG and EPS) also will be available to download, on request, by APEX Award winners. APEX Award winners also may post links to www.ApexAwards.com.
Where do I enter online?
Click on this link:
Communications Concepts, Inc. - APEX 2020 Awards
5810 Kingstowne Center Dr.
Alexandria, VA 22315-5711
The entry deadline for APEX 2020 is February 15th, 2020.
You may want to mark your calendar now as a reminder.