Recap: “Write to Win: Mastering the Art of Awards Submission Writing” Workshop

Thank you to all that attended our July professional development event, “Write to Win: Mastering the Art of Awards Submission Writing.” We hope you enjoyed some of the key takeaways to help take your awards entries to the next level. A special thanks to IABC Southern RegionIABC Atlanta, Kansas City IABC, and IABC South Carolina for their support in making this event happen!

In this hour-long workshop, we learned how to avoid common pitfalls and ways to make your entries stand out in front of judges, including:

  • Identifying common mistakes and writing problems
  • Understanding judges and what they are looking for
  • Proactive planning to avoid late deadlines
  • Crafting entries that tell a story and demonstrate results

Alison Shuman, Vice President of Awards, IABC Southern Region, Vice President of Finance, IABC South Carolina
Eric Berrios, Vice President of Professional Recognition, IABC Atlanta
Maliha Khan, Vice President of Communications and Director of Awards, Kansas City IABC

Kellie Davie, APR, Vice President of Awards and Communications, IABC Nashville

We are thrilled that the presenters have provided us with slides from the presentation, which can be downloaded in the link below. Also provided is a recording of yesterday’s workshop, just in case someone you know missed it.

Webinar Recording

Download Presentation

Download Workshop Exercises

Write to Win: Mastering the Art of Awards Submission Writing Online Workshop

Are you entering award nominations for your organization, but not getting the results you deserve? The problem could be the way you are filling out your application. Successful award entries take time, strategy, and dynamic storytelling.

Join us on Wednesday, July 22, for an in-depth panel discussion on award writing best practices with some of the International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) professional recognition leaders. Learn how to avoid common pitfalls and ways to make your entries stand out in front of judges. This workshop will include:

  • Identifying common mistakes and writing problems
  • Understanding judges and what they are looking for
  • Proactive planning to avoid late deadlines
  • Crafting entries that tell a story and demonstrate results

These best practices will prepare you to submit any type of award entry, regardless of industry and award type. This online event is free for IABC members and non-members.

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Call for Entries Now Open: 2020 Music City Gold Pen Awards

IABC Nashville is on a quest to recognize Middle Tennessee professionals who exemplify excellence in strategic business communications, management skills, thought leadership, and creativity. Each year, the Music City Gold Pen Awards showcase leading-edge work from area communicators – members and non-members alike – from various sectors.
Submitting an entry will help you develop your professional knowledge and skills, and prepare for entry into the international Gold Quill Awards program. Judged by professionals in other IABC chapters, a Music City Gold Pen Award is one of the most prestigious awards a communicator, designer, marketing strategist, or student can earn. 


Call for Entries Begin
Monday, June 1: Call For Entries Open
Wednesday, July 22: Professional Development Event 
  • Best Practices in Award Submissions from a panel of seasoned IABC judges


Friday, August 21: Early Deadline
  • IABC Members: $75 Per Entry*
  • Non-Members: $90 Per Entry
  • Nonprofits/Students: $25 Per Entry
Friday, August 28: Final Deadline
  • IABC Members: $90 Per Entry*
  • Non-Members: $110 Per Entry
  • Nonprofits/Students: $40 Per Entry
Late September/Early October: Winners Notified
Monday, November 2: Virtual Awards Celebration
Free live streaming event
*Must be an active IABC member to receive rate. +Subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


IABC has now added Category 17: Diversity and Inclusion to Division 1 – Communication Management. Entries in this category should highlight campaigns or programs of work aimed at building a culture of inclusion for an organization, with internal or external stakeholders (or both).
IABC Nashville is proud to support three Leadership Awards designed to honor outstanding communicators in our region. These awards are designed to recognize members for their outstanding achievements and positive impact on the profession and IABC Nashville. Categories include:
  • Rising Star: Salutes a young, dynamic leader who is shaping the future of IABC Nashville.
  • Communicator of the Year: Recognizes a communication leader who demonstrates exceptional leadership, management, and communication skills.
  • Hall of Fame: Lifetime achievement as an outstanding communicator whose contributions have raised the standards of professional communications.
Sponsors of the Music City Gold Pen Awards gain visibility and recognition from the region’s top business communicators. Showcase your company to event attendees by becoming a sponsor and reach a group of decision-makers and influencers in the business community. 


A BIG thank you to our official award partners, IABC Atlanta and KC IABC, for providing judges for the 2020 Music City Gold Pen Awards. As part of this partnership, members from IABC Nashville will be judging the KC Quills and Golden Flame Awards.

We hope you will consider entering your best work! If you have questions regarding the 2020 Music City Gold Pen Awards, please reach out to Kellie Davie, APR, Vice President of Awards and Communications, at Good luck and thank you for your support!


Kellie Davie, APR,  is the managing director and founder of Keycom, a marketing communications firm in Nashville dedicated to providing businesses with the creative strategies they need to reach their goals. Kellie also serves on the IABC Nashville board of directors as Vice President of Awards and Communications. 

That’s a wrap on the 2019 Music City Gold Pen Awards!

Thank you for joining us in recognizing business communicators from across Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky for their professional achievements and brand campaigns.

About the event

We presented the 2019 Music City Gold Pen Awards on August 28 in Nashville. Danielle Breezy, Chief Meteorologist from WKRN-TV Nashville News 2, served as emcee and presented 38 awards in categories ranging from internal communications to nonprofit campaigns. Photos from the event are posted on IABC Nashville’s Facebook page.

From our president 

“It is an honor for our chapter to recognize these communications professionals for their outstanding work and campaigns,” said Sarah “Birdie” Loeffler, IABC Nashville president. “From internal communications to public relations agencies, this year’s group of winners displayed the very best in business communications throughout Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky and are paving the way for our region to be recognized as one of the nation’s top locations to be a communications professional.” 

Thank you to our sponsors! 

This year’s event was sponsored by Keycom, a lifestyle marketing communications firm, and Tracy K. Johnson from Camera Sutra photography.

Congratulations to our award winners! 

The award winners represented a range of industries, including strategic communications, public relations, non-profit, marketing, media relations, health care, and more. The teams at Keycom and McNeely, Pigott and Fox (MP&F) Strategic Communications both took home numerous awards for their work in change communication, community relations, government communications, communication research, nonprofit campaigns, media relations, corporate social responsibility, and special events. This year’s award winners include:

  • Kerry Burke, Cigna
  • Jacob Burns, MP&F Strategic Communications
  • Nancy Cooper & Dr. Forbes Walker, Aries Clean Energy
  • Kellie Davie, Keycom, Nashville Fashion Week
  • Julie Davis & Sharon Harper, Brookdale Senior Living
  • Laura Haynes, MP&F Strategic Communications, First Bank
  • Drew Ruble & Carol Stuart, Middle Tennessee State University
  • Genma Holmes, GSH Media
  • Jessica Hopson, Lovell Communications
  • Sarah Hunt-Blackwell, MP&F Strategic Communications
  • Paul Ladd, World Christian Broadcasting
  • Birdie Loeffler, NDC, Inc.
  • Sara Salisbury, MP&F Strategic Communications
  • Julia Stump, Volkert
  • Millie Wert, MP&F Strategic Communications


2019 Music City Gold Pen Awards

Come celebrate with the stars at the Music City Gold Pen Awards Luncheon! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 | 11:30am – 1pm

Noah Liff Opera Center, 3622 Redmon St, Nashville, TN 37209

Tickets are $45 for members, $55 for non-members, and $30 for students 

Register today

Join IABC Nashville for the 2019 Music City Gold Pen Awards luncheon, where we recognize the often unsung heroes who write, edit, create, and bring to life the many programs, special events, and powerful stories that punctuate life across Middle Tennessee. 

We are excited to welcome the talented Danielle Breezy, Chief Meteorologist at WKRN-TV Nashville, as our EMCEE! 

With over 25 awards categories, ranging from complex communications campaigns to single news articles (and much more!) you’ll get to celebrate with leading communications professionals and learn about their award-winning projects! 

Why should you attend? 

Even if you decided not to submit an entry, the Music City Gold Pen Awards ceremony is an event you won’t want to miss. Here’s why you need to be there:

  • Mix and mingle with leaders in communications, public relations, marketing, etc. from Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky
  • Learn about the award-winning communications projects and what made them successful
  • Gain exclusive insight about current communications trends, best practices, and how the industry’s stars are shaping our field for the future

Register today – We can’t wait to see you there! 

Check out our 2018 MCGPA photo gallery and see why this is an event you don’t want to miss! 


About our emcee 

Danielle Breezy is the Chief Meteorologist at News 2. She earned her atmospheric science degree from Cornell University. After that, it was stops in Salisbury, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Boston before landing in Nashville. Danielle has the CBM (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist) Seal, which is the highest seal a meteorologist can have and currently is the on the American Meteorological Society Board of Broadcast. On a personal note, she is married to Joe Breezy who does afternoons at i106.7 and is also the brand manager. They have a fur baby named Lucy and together they are happy to call Nashville home!

Website – Instagram @daniellebreezytv 
Facebook – Twitter @DanielleBreezy

Special thanks to our event sponsors! 


About Keycom:

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Keycom is a lifestyle marketing and public relations firm dedicated to providing businesses with creative services to reach their audiences and goals. From enhancing a brand’s reputation to promoting services, we work with clients to create solutions that are authentic and efficient. Let the Keycom team of experienced strategists and storytellers take your brand to the next level.

Photography sponsor: Camera Sutra 

Owner / Photographer: Tracy K. Johnson

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