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The Garden Media Guild Awards: Judging Q&As

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GMG Chairman Clare FoggettWe asked GMG Chairman, Clare Foggett, to give us the lowdown on what the Awards judges are looking for...

Who's on the judging panel this year?

We're in the middle of finalising our judges now, and when the line-up is complete you can head to the page on the Awards website to find out who they are. But we have some very exciting people on the panel so far.

Author and horticultural expert Penelope Hobhouse, a gardening icon, and Andy Cowles, former Creative Director for both Time Inc UK and Rolling Stone in New York, are both on the panel.

We want to make sure that people who enter their work feel it has been judged fairly and by the very best in the industry.

The judging criteria have been sharpened up in the last couple of years. Can you tell us what judges will be looking for and how work will be scored?

We revised every category's criteria two years ago to try and make it easier to enter, decide which category is the best fit for your work and determine whether your work is up to the standard required. You can find all the categories and their entry criteria, plus what the judges are looking for on the Awards website. The judges use the same criteria when they assess your work, so everyone works to the same standard.

What’s the most hotly tipped Award?

We've seen entries in the Blog of the Year category rocket over the last few years, understandably. It's such a popular category – blogs are a great way to get started with a writing career especially and this Award is always hotly competed. There have been some exciting app launches this year too, so I look forward to seeing lots of entries in the New Media Award as well.

You’ve been involved with the organisation of the Awards for a few years now. Can you tell us what have been your personal highlights?

I think this will be my thirteenth ceremony, and my first standing on stage as Chairman – so I hope that's lucky 13! I remember the first year I attended, seeing stars like Alan Titchmarsh drinking champagne right next to me and being blown away. That was at the Savoy, but I also remember the Royal Lancaster, the Brewery and the Intercontinental before we came back to the Savoy. I've enjoyed them all, but nothing has quite matched the excitement of that first one – and the year Garden News won Newspaper of the Year (when we still had that category!) while I was Editor.

What can we look forward to at the Awards ceremony itself?

Nowhere matches the Savoy for total opulence, so I have no doubt this year's ceremony will be as glamorous as any. Hopefully, now that Guild members don't have to pay an entry fee to submit their work for an Award, there will be more entries than ever and a real competition. As ever, it's the event you really don't want to miss!