Frequently Asked Questions

 

Please select a relevant question for help and advice.

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ABOUT THE COMPETITION

WHO CAN ENTER THE JOHN BYRNE AWARD?

Anybody, over the age of 16, living or studying in Scotland is eligible to enter the competition. We accept a maximum of one entry per person or team per month.

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Does the competition have a brief?

The John Byrne Award does not have a brief but does have certain criteria by which entries are judged.

The Award rewards work which encourages the questioning of values appropriate to our modern age. You can submit work on any theme, value or idea, but a good entry has something to say, and says it powerfully and effectively. Please see our Judging Criteria and What Makes a Great John Byrne Award Entry, for more details on what we look for.

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What kind of work can I submit?

The John Byrne Award accepts work in any creative discipline, but we ask that your work promotes the questioning of values and is reasoned, constructive and compelling (see our Judging Criteria). Your work does not have to be original (i.e. it can have been previously published or exhibited elsewhere) but you must own the copyright on any work you enter.

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I’m not confident about my work, am I good enough for The John Byrne Award?

Yes! Every single entry that meets our entry criteria (i.e. is created by someone over the age of 16, living or studying in Scotland, and includes a creative piece, central question and entry statement) is displayed in our online exhibition. Sharing your work with other people is a wonderful thing to do- it’s a chance for you to express your creativity and ideas, which can help build confidence, ability, and empathy, in both yourself and others.

See What Makes a Great John Byrne Award Entry for more details on what makes a brilliant entry, or click here to enter now.

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I’m not sure my work is “deep” enough, is it right for The John Byrne Award?

Yes –The John Byrne Award accepts all kinds of creative work, and we actively encourage a range of perspectives on our platform. While we do judge entries on how effectively they are able to encourage the questioning and development of values, we never judge the values themselves.

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What should I write in my entry statement?

Your entry statement should explain, clearly and concisely, the underlying values or message of your piece. For some tips on how to write a great entry statement, read our article; What Makes a Great John Byrne Award Entry.

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I’m not too interested in discussing the values of my work, I just like to paint/draw/write etc, can I still enter The John Byrne Award?

The John Byrne Award accepts all creative work, however The Award was created to encourage the discussion and development of values, and so we naturally prefer entries which do this. If you’re not sure what your entry is trying to say, a good place to start is to ask yourself why you created it, what thoughts and feelings were going through your mind when you began your process, and why your work ended up as it did. By asking yourself these questions, you may find that your work has a value or message after all, but if not, please don’t be put off submitting your work! Every entry is exhibited on The John Byrne Award website, regardless of whether or not it is awarded a prize.

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How can you compare work in different creative disciplines?

At The John Byrne Award, we don’t judge entries on purely aesthetic or technical criteria, but rather on how well a chosen thought, idea, argument or value is communicated through the work. The creative medium and technical execution is only a secondary consideration and made relative to our three judging criteria; reasoned, constructive and compelling.

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How do you choose a winner from so many entries?

Monthly Award

The John Byrne Award staff use the judging criteria to review all entries and create the monthly shortlist, announced at the start of each month. The John Byrne Award Monthly Judging Panel then use the judging criteria to review the shortlist and select the monthly winner. The winner is announced around two – three weeks after the monthly deadline and awarded £250 in prize money.

Annual Award

In February 2020, John Byrne Award staff will use the judging criteria to review all entries received between 01 Feb 2019 and 31 Jan 2020; adding the best entries to the annual shortlist. The annual winner will be chosen from this shortlist by The John Byrne Award Annual Judging Panel, and announced at our Award Ceremony, in February. Any entry can win the annual award, regardless of whether or not it has been shortlisted or won a prize in the monthly competition.

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Can I still enter work if I don’t want it to be displayed on the website?

No, our judges will only consider entries which are displayed publicly on our site, and by sharing your work with The John Byrne Award you agree to it being shared publicly on The John Byrne Award website. We appreciate that you may have various reasons for wanting to keep work private, but at The John Byrne Award, our purpose is to share and promote the values and creativity of our wonderful entrants, and so we cannot accept work that is not publicly accessible. This also means that if you need to submit an extract of your full work for display on our website, you cannot send the full piece to our judges for private consideration; our judges will only consider whatever portion of your work is made visible on our site.

If you’d rather share your work under a pseudonym (a name that is not your real name), you are welcome to do so- just let us know in the application form.

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Can I withdraw my entry?

If for any reason you decide that you no longer want your work displayed on The John Byrne Award website, you should send an email to [email protected], or use the contact form above, requesting us to take your work down. We will take your work down as soon as we can without question.

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ENTERING THE COMPETITION

How do I enter The John Byrne Award?

You can enter the competition on our enter now page, using the online submission form. The form will prompt you to fill in the required details and upload your creative work.

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How do I upload my work?

In order to upload your creative work, you must first select a relevant category for your entry (audio, video, writing or image) and a subcategory (i.e. song, film, poetry, painting etc). Your choice will determine the kind of file you are asked to provide, and a box will appear, allowing you to upload your work in the specified format. Please ensure that you are not attempting to upload an incorrect file format, as this will prevent your work from being submitted.

You may notice that there is some overlap between categories– this is to allow you some flexibility as to the kind of media you wish to upload, and you should choose the category that is most relevant to how you wish to display your work. If you wish to submit poetry, for example, you have the option to select ‘Writing>Poetry’, which will allow to you upload a PDF document of your written work; ‘Audio>Poetry’, where you can submit a recording of your poetry being read aloud; and ‘Video>Poetry’, which will allow you to upload a video of your poetry.

You may pick as many of these categories as apply.

If you are submitting an audio or video entry, you will be asked to provide a SoundCloud/ YouTube or Vimeo link, as well as the original file. This is to allow us to display the work on our website and you should therefore ensure that you have enabled your video/audio for embedding on external sites and disabled any privacy restrictions.

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What is my ‘cover image’ for?

If you are uploading images, audio or video, your cover image is the thumbnail that visitors will see before they click on your entry, on the main entries page. If you are uploading writing, this image will also be displayed within your entry page, as the link which visitors must click in order to read your work.

You should choose a striking image, that represents your work, and which you have permission to use.

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I can’t upload my writing, what’s going wrong?

We can only accept writing in PDF format, so please check that you are not trying to upload another kind of document. You may have to convert your existing file to a PDF; the process to do this will depend on the software on your computer, but you can find many step-by-step guides online.

If you are still having trouble, please get in touch with us at [email protected], or by using the form above, and we will get to the bottom of it!

If you think it may be a technical issue, please remember to let us know what device and browser you are using, and include any relevant screenshots, as this will help our IT team look into the problem.

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I can’t upload images OF MY WORK, what’s going wrong?

Firstly, please check that you are not trying to upload more than one image into the ‘cover image’ box on the entry form. You can upload multiple images further down the form, once you have selected the category ‘Image’ for your work.

Secondly, please ensure that the images you are trying to upload are in either JPG/JPEG or PNG format. You may upload a maximum of 20 images, and each image must be 200MB or less in size.

If you are still having trouble, please get in touch with us at [email protected], or by using the form above, and we will get to the bottom of it!

If you think it may be a technical issue, please remember to let us know what device and browser you are using, and include any relevant screenshots, as this will really help our IT team look into the problem.

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I can’t upload my video/audio, what’s going wrong?

Your video or audio entry must be hosted on YouTube, SoundCloud or Vimeo already – as this is how we will display the work on our site. Therefore, please first make sure that you provide us with the embed link in the relevant box, and that the work linked to is publicly accessible.

We also require you to upload a file of the audio/video, as this is what we will show our judges, and use to share your work on our social media channels. We accept audio entries as MP3 files only, and the following file formats for video entries; .MP4 .AVI .MOV .FLV .WMV.

If you are still having trouble, please get in touch with us at [email protected], or by using the form above, and we will get to the bottom of it!

If you think it may be a technical issue, please remember to let us know what device and browser you are using, and include any relevant screenshots, as this will really help our IT team look into the problem.

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WHAT ARE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF ENTRY?

By sharing your work with The John Byrne Award you agree to it being shared publicly on The John Byrne Award website, but don’t worry, you do not lose copyright of your work! Our judges will only consider entries which are displayed publicly on our site, find out why, here.

You can read the full terms and conditions, here.

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HOW DO I KNOW MY ENTRY HAS BEEN SUBMITTED?

If your entry has been submitted correctly, you will be take to our ‘thank you for entering’ page. if you do not see this message, please contact us at [email protected], or by using the form above.

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MY ENTRY HASN’T APPEARED ONLINE YET- HAVE YOU RECEIVED IT?

Probably! It can sometimes take us a couple of days to upload your entry to our online exhibition – so if it has been less than 48 hours, please do not worry.

On rare occasions, there may be a problem with the entry that has prevented us from displaying it on the website. This could be a technical issue (such as files uploading incorrectly) or a problem with the entry itself; such as video links being set to ‘private’, or the failure to provide an entry title in the form of a question. If there is a technical issue that we can fix ourselves, we will not notify you, but it may take a little longer for your entry to appear online. If there is a problem with the entry itself, or we need you to resend us some files, we will send you an email as soon as possible – however things can get pretty busy here at times, so this may take a few days!

If your entry has not appeared online, and you have not received an email from us, please get in touch with us at [email protected], or by using the form above, and we will investigate!

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I’M HAVING ANOTHER PROBLEM WITH THE ENTRY FORM – WHAT SHOULD I DO NEXT?

We appreciate that technical issues can be frustrating – but please do not be discouraged from entering the competition! Simply get in touch with us at [email protected], or by using the form above, and we will get to the bottom of it!

Or you can chat to us on any of our social channels:

 

                                         

 

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