by Deb Cook Lewis
The ACB Board of Publications proudly recognizes excellence each year with three annual writing awards. We are seeking nominations for the Ned E. Freeman Excellence in Writing Award, the Vernon Henley Media Award, and the Hollis Liggett Braille Free Press Award.
The Ned E. Freeman Excellence in Writing Award was instituted in 1970, and will be awarded based on the following criteria:
- An article must have been first published between April of 2019 and March of 2020.
- All articles published in “The ACB Braille Forum” in all forms and formats are automatically eligible for consideration. Individual articles published by any ACB affiliate in its official publication may also be nominated by the affiliate’s president or editor. Articles which have not appeared in “The ACB Braille Forum” in all forms and formats may be submitted in any format.
- The article must demonstrate excellence in writing, novelty of approach and/or originality of the subject matter.
- The author of the winning article will receive a plaque and a cash prize of $100 at the annual ACB conference and convention.
The Vernon Henley Media Award is conferred based on the following criteria:
- The Vernon Henley Media Award is intended to be a vehicle for publicizing ACB throughout the general media and to encourage excellence and accuracy in electronic and print coverage of items relating to blindness.
- This award may be presented to an organization, company, or individual, either sighted or blind, who has made a positive difference in the press, whether in radio, television, electronic media, magazines, or daily newspapers, during the period encompassed by April of 2019 through March of 2020, by portraying the capabilities of people who are blind in a positive light, rather than focusing on outdated stereotypes and misconceptions.
- Programs and/or articles written and produced specifically for a visually impaired audience, as well as those intended for the general public, are also eligible.
- A variety of media are eligible for nomination for the Vernon Henley Media Award. Examples may include: television or radio programs; commercials or public service announcements; videos; articles from magazines, newspapers, newsletters, posters, or any other new or emerging media sources. Submissions such as books or recurring columns or blogs from the same person should include a synopsis and no more than three sample chapters for books and no more than three samples of the recurring columns or blogs nominated. Submissions should be accompanied by a letter of nomination as well as the sample copy of the item being nominated. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.
- The BOP chairperson will annually send a letter to affiliate presidents, newsletter editors and other media markets encouraging nominations for the Vernon Henley Media Award.
- A plaque will be presented to the Vernon Henley Media Award recipient at the annual ACB conference and convention.
The Hollis Liggett Braille Free Press Award will be presented based on the following criteria:
- The Hollis Liggett Braille Free Press Award is intended to promote best journalistic practices and excellence in writing in publications of ACB’s state and special-interest affiliates.
- All periodicals of ACB affiliates, distributed no less than semi-annually, are eligible.
- Nominations must be submitted by the affiliate’s newsletter editor or president.
- Submissions must include the following:
- Two issues of the affiliate’s publication from the previous calendar year sent electronically and in hard copy in the format which the affiliate recognizes as the format which best represents its readership.
- Answers to the following questions:
- How many members are in your affiliate?
- How often is your publication published per year?
- In what formats is your publication produced?
- Members of the BOP directly involved in the editorial process of any submitted publication will excuse themselves from judging/scoring that particular publication.
- Criteria for judging submissions will include:
- The number of contributing writers in a single issue;
- The variety of information presented in each issue;
- How well the publication portrays the affiliate;
- The quality of writing throughout the publication;
- The overall layout and presentation of the publication.
- A plaque will be presented to the Hollis Liggett Braille Free Press Award recipient at the convention.
And now the fine print:
- All nominations must be submitted to the ACB Braille Forum Editor, Sharon Lovering, with a postmark of no later than April 1, 2020. You may also submit your nomination electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter providing details about the nominee, including name, address, telephone number and email address of the nominee, if known, and details about the submission, its origin, and any other pertinent information. The return address of the person making the nomination should be included in the cover letter.
- Members of the board of publications, board of directors, and staff and contractors of the ACB are prohibited from participating.
- Any individual or affiliate who has won a BOP award since 2016 is ineligible to receive the same award prior to Jan. 1, 2021.