Fall 2018 Newsletter
Submit your work for the 2019 ClearMark Awards
If 2019 is going to be the year you win a ClearMark Award, now’s the time prepare your submission. We’ll be accepting submissions January 2 – 31, 2019. Here’s how to learn about award categories, the submission process, and our judging criteria:
- Register for our free webinar on December 4, 2018 at noon Eastern and learn how to prepare your ClearMark submission
- Download a sample ClearMark Award entry form
- Watch our ClearMark Award webinar video or review the webinar slides
- Check out our 2018 ClearMark winners
- Review our FAQs
Watch our recorded ClearMark Award webinar video or review the webinar slides.
Powerhouse volunteer needed: Program Chair for the ClearMark Awards
We’re looking for an organized, committed, and savvy Program Chair to help us execute the ClearMark Awards program. If you’re motivated to promote plain language and support the community, consider volunteering for this role. The Program Chair oversees the entire ClearMark Awards process, from launching the Awards nominations season in early December to the presentation of the trophies the following May. Learn about the Program Chair’s responsibilities. Contact Amy Hasselkus, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to volunteer.
Meet our Volunteer of the Month, Sonia Sánchez Moreno, two-time judge for the annual Spanish ClearMark awards. Sonia’s advocacy for plain language in translations is inspiring and her hard work as a judge helps the Center ensure that we have a robust and successful Spanish category.
Interested in volunteering? We’re looking for people to fundraise, to review books, to blog, and to oversee the editing of books, and more. Send an email to email@example.com and let us know what you’re interested in.
2018 Federal Report Card: Average writing grade drops from “B” to “C”
The grades are in! The Report Card grades agencies on how well their home pages and most-visited pages support an essential plain language principle: focus on your audience.
This year’s Report Card evaluated 23 Executive Branch agencies, including all 15 cabinet-level departments, on writing and on organizational compliance with the Plain Writing Act. It also shows how high turnover at the top and lack of plain language training harmed agencies’ compliance scores.
- Download the complete 2018 Federal Plain Language Report Card: Report Card PDF file and White Paper
- Use the Report Card’s standards to evaluate your organization’s writing: See Anatomy of an excellent homepage, Anatomy of an excellent USDA page, and Homepage that needs work
- See “Agency Turnover and Grade Trends for individual agency grade changes since 2015
Get social with us: Your plain language people are waiting for you
There’s a fabulous plain language party going on in the Center’s social media channels, and you’re invited! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and join a community of plain language advocates just like you. You can ask questions, network with people who value clear communication, and gather examples of how plain language’s done in real life. If you sometimes feel like the only person in your organization who cares about plain language, join the Center’s social media conversations. You’ll find you are definitely not alone.
Support the Center’s plain language efforts: Be a donor or a sponsor
The Center for Plain Language can’t run on grit and eloquence alone! We need financial support from our community. Please consider donating to the Center or providing a sponsorship for the ClearMark Awards. We gratefully welcome all levels of sponsorship from Contributor to Title Sponsor.
You can showcase your commitment to plain language and promote clarity for all:
Upcoming plain language events
PLAIN 2019 in Oslo. The conference program will be available in February 2019. The conference will showcase the results of plain language efforts around the world.Register for PLAIN 2019.
Early May 2019
Stay tuned for the 2019 ClearMark Awards ceremony in early May. Soon, we’ll be sharing the date for the ceremony. We hope you’ll join us at the National Press Club in Washington, DC for an evening for networking with fellow plain language enthusiasts and celebrating your own work in the field. More info to come…