What are you proud of? If you're like me, you're proud when you meet a deadline and even more proud when a client or peer says "great job." We all want recognition—and not much is better than earning recognition for the quality of your work. Testimonials from clients boost your confidence and can even translate into additional work (ie, money), but awards add even more prestige and benefit. Like a feather in your cap, an award can get you noticed among a sea of other potential employees or freelances. So if you want to stand out from the crowd, try earning an award in one of several medical writing competitions. You'll have to act fast, though, the end of the month signals the deadline for many competitions—at least you have the week-end!
Look through your clips from 2010 and see what you can submit to AMWA's Eric Martin Award. This award is given for articles (print or online) in two categories: public or health care consumer audience and professional (medical) audience. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2011.
The Health and Science Communications Association (HeSCA) offers a competition with a different perspective. Entries into the 37th Annual HeSCA Media Festivals are judged not on content but on criteria of technical quality, production values and techniques, educational design, technological innovation, creativity, and craftsmanship of the media product. Again, the deadline is February 28, 2011.
Are you a credentialed journalist who wrote a fascinating article that enhanced the public understanding of a health issue related to endocrinology? If so, consider submitting the article to the Endocrine Society's Fourth Annual Award for Excellence in Science and Medical Journalism. Submissions must be received by March 2, 2011.
You have a bit more time to find that perfect piece to submit to the 23rd Annual APEX Awards for Publication Excellence, an annual competition for writers, editors, publications staff and business and nonprofit communicators. Apex Awards are given in 130 communications categories in 11 main categories, including newsletters; magazines and journals; newspapers; annual reports; brochures, manuals and reports; electronic media and video; Web and intranet sites; campaigns, programs and plans; writing; design and illustration; and special publications. The deadline for entries is March 17, 2011.
You also have ample time to find an entry for the AMWA Pacific Southwest Chapter 2011 Frances Larson Memorial Award For Excellence in Writing a Medical Article. Entries for this competition must be a medical article or essay written for either a lay or a professional audience, with the exception of research articles (journal format). This competition is open to AMWA members only, and the deadline is May 1, 2011.
So take some time over the week-end to look through what you wrote last year and find what you're most proud of. Think of the advantages of mentioning the award on your resume or putting an award logo on your Web site. Come on, try to stick a feather in your cap.