Critique and Awards Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What's new this year?

A. ACE continues to use Submittable to host its ACE Critique and Awards program.

Q. What entries are eligible?

A. Entries must meet these criteria:

  • Produced for an organization within the public sector.
  • Produced or received by the intended audience between Jan. 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2019. The same product may not be entered two years in a row. For example, a publication produced at the end of 2018 and entered in last year's contest may not be entered again this year, even if the audience received the product during the 2019 calendar year.
  • The entrant must be a principal contributor of the entry. For example, entries in the writing classes must be submitted by the principal writer(s) of the project.
  • Any outside agency work on the entry must be acknowledged and must have been minimal.

Q. Who is eligible to enter?

A. Both ACE members and non-members are eligible. An ACE member must be a current member at the time of the award presentation to be eligible to enter as a member.

Q. Can teams enter?

A. Yes. A team can be all ACE members, mixed with members and non-members, or all non-members.

Q. What does it cost to enter?

A. $40 for an ACE single member entry. $130 for an ACE non-member entry. $65 for a team with two or more ACE members. $170 for a team with less than half ACE members.

Q. How are winners recognized?

A. If you’re an ACE member and you win an award, you’ll receive a certificate or a plaque, depending on the award you win. If you win a gold award, the lead entrant listed on the entry form will be recognized with a gold award plaque. Teammates on a gold-winning entry will receive certificates, provided they are ACE members. Silver and bronze winners will receive certificates, provided they are ACE members.

All Outstanding Professional Skill (OPS) award winners, teammates included, will be presented with one OPS plaque, provided they are ACE members. To receive additional OPS plaques, please contact ACE at to order additional plaques at $20 each. Non-members who enter individually or as a team of all non-members will receive awards and recognition in ACE promotional materials.

If you make the request on the entry, we’ll notify one administrator about your accomplishment. Award presentations will be made at the ACE international meeting in Chicago, in June, 2020. Your name will be listed in the ACE awards program book.

Q. How many times can I enter the same product?

A. You can enter the same product only once within each category. On the other hand, you can enter the same product in all categories if you feel it qualifies, as long as each entry is accompanied by the appropriate entry fee.

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

A. Judges are chosen by ACE Learning Community leaders. Judges rate entries using criteria developed by LC leaders.

Q. What will I get from the judges?

A. By the end of March, you should receive an evaluation form, which includes numerical scores and comments from the judge. Judges are asked to highlight the entry’s strengths and weaknesses and discuss specific changes that could improve its effectiveness. You also will receive a letter to let you know whether you’ve won an award.

Q. How many winners are there in each category?

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

Q. What if I enter my submission in an incorrect category or class?

A. Judges are permitted to move your entry to a more appropriate class if possible.

Q. When will I get my award if my entry wins?

A. Awards will be presented at the ACE Conference in June 2020, in Chicago.  Winners will have the opportunity to display their work at the meeting. Outstanding Professional Skill Award winners will be asked to prepare a short video for the awards ceremony. If you are unable to attend the international meeting, your award will be shipped to you.

Other questions? Contact the ACE at or 847.647.8861

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ACE Office: 847-647-8861

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