Critique and Awards Frequently Asked Questions

See C&A Rules and Instructions for details on:

  •  Deadline
  •  Eligibility (entries and entrants)
  •  Entry fees
  •  Entry process
  •  Judging process
  •  Recognition

What's new this year?

New categories

  • Writing 6, speech writing
  • Media relations 2, news release
  • Media relations 3, media pitch

Significant revisions to class descriptions for:

  • Publishing
  • Graphic design
  • Social media


  • All classes renumbered for ease of future updating
    (Formerly, class numbers were consecutive across all categories. Now, class numbers begin at “class 1” within each category. Example: Publishing 1 was formerly Class 19.)
  • Separate entry form no longer necessary - all info should be entered directly in the submission form for each category.
  • Rubrics provided for all categories and classes to assist entrants and judges in understanding and applying criteria.
  • All category and class descriptions reviewed for typos and to ensure consistency with new rubrics and Submittable system

How many times can I enter the same product?

You can enter the same product only once within each category. On the other hand, you can enter the same product in all categories it qualifies. Various parts of a product may be entered in different classes. Each entry must be accompanied by the appropriate entry fee.

Who are the judges, and what will they look for in my entry?

Judges are professionals with disciplinary expertise in the assigned category. The ACE president-elect has responsibility for coordinating judge invitation and selection with input from the ACE Board, Learning Community leaders and ACE management. Judges are not current ACE members.

Judges score and critique entries using criteria developed by ACE Learning Communities.

What will I get from the judges?

You will receive an evaluation form, which includes a numerical score and critique comments. Judges are asked to highlight the entry’s strengths and weaknesses and describe specific changes that could improve its effectiveness. You will also be notified whether you’ve won an award.

How many winners are there in each category?

Judges can select a gold, silver and bronze award in each class. Each gold-winning entry is then judged a second time against all other gold winners in a category to select that category’s Outstanding Professional Skill Award. ACE does not award ties in a class or category. Judges may choose to make no award in a class or category.

What if I enter in the wrong category or class?

Judges may move your entry to a more appropriate class. ACE will notify you if this occurs.

When will I get my award if my entry wins?

Awards will be presented at the ACE Conference in June 2020, in Chicago.  If you are unable to attend the conference, your award will be shipped to you.

Other questions? Contact ACE at or 847.647.8861

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ACE Office: 847-647-8861

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