October 28, 2019

How to Write a Compelling Entry Statement

 

Your entry statement is a brief explanation (of no more than 200 words) to support your creative work. While the statement is short, it is very important, as your entry is judged equally on your creative work and statement.

This is your opportunity to write whatever you feel we need to know in order to understand your work. It can be whatever you want it to be – however, there are some elements that the most compelling entry statements all share.

A compelling entry statement is:

Clear And Concise.

…i.e. not full of jargon, ‘art-speak’ or pretentious language. The John Byrne Award is all about sharing ideas and encouraging debate – if the average reader is not able to understand what you have written, your entry won’t be able to do this.

A compelling entry statement is:

True To Your Creative Work.

…that is to say, it should accurately explain and represent the creative work that you have submitted. This is extremely important, as a large part of The John Byrne Award judging process is evaluating how well an entrant’s creative work expresses their central theme or idea. If the judges do not have a clear idea of the theme or value that your work explores, then it is impossible for them to consider how well you have expressed this.

A compelling entry statement is:

Reasoned.

A reasoned entry statement, at its most basic, offers convincing reasons for any conclusions drawn or questions posed. Your entry statement should follow a clear train of thought from beginning to end, based on experience or evidence which has been explained to us.

…And a couple of things a compelling entry statement is NOT:

 

A soapbox: It’s wonderful if you are passionate about your idea or value – but your entry statement should aim to engage others constructively, and not simply bash them over the head with your opinion!
A biography or CV: Sharing the experiences that inform your work is a wonderful thing to do, but including a full biography or CV will not help the judges to understand your entry, so try not to waste your word count doing this.
A description of your work; unless it’s really relevant. There’s no need to describe your work or methods, except where the media or process used to create your work is especially significant to your idea or theme.