Blog | Award Winning Tips

March 20, 2019

Award Winning Tips

When people look at award winning books, most wonder what they do differently to set themselves apart from others. What is the secret recipe? Speak with any award-winning adviser and most will give you a unique cocktail of ingredients, however two always remain constant, “Hard-work & dedication”. Commitment to excellence, a few tips and willingness to work until you’ve produced the highest level book possible are what sets a normal staff apart from an award-winning one. Now where do you start if you’ve never had an award-winning book?

Here are a few quick tips!

  • What sets this year apart? All award-winning books have one thing in common. They have a unique way of looking at the year that was. They hone in on the flavor of the year, identify it and manage to transform it into something that will appeal to their entire school community. A unique concept or theme should appeal to all groups and draw them in.
  • Maximum coverage. Not only do award-winning books tell the story of their school, but they manage to find and tell as many unique stories as possible. Through quotes, infographics, articles, interviews, you name it, they find it. Stories may not always be happy go lucky, however, they do provide a well-rounded story of the school community that year.
  • It’s all about the angles. Be it getting your students to the story from a different perspective or to take the picture from a different angle, changing up how something is normally done will set you apart from others. Make sure to push your students to think outside the box with these things!
  • You gotta have style! Although the content is important, your design must be on point as well. Be it a more traditional approach or something a bit more modern, pick one and stick with it. Make sure your design has some kind of consistency and you’re utilizing white space properly. Where to pick up some of these new design trends? Check out magazines, books or even some of the national level conferences.
  • Devil’s always in the details. Isn’t it always? Is your spacing the same? Font size the same? Folios in the same spot? Did you make sure your table of contents was in the right spot? All of these are examples of things that have cost books awards in competitions. Always triple check everything or else they may cost you!
  • Don’t surrender to criticism! If you choose to enter a competition and don’t win anything, don’t let the weight of the feedback you receive break you. Use it as a stepping stone to your first award. Keep in mind, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Always remember, winning awards is great however they often don’t come on the first try. They require a lot of work. These tips should get you on your way but don’t be afraid to just enter your book this year and see what happens.


Eric Saxton

Friesens Yearbook Consultant