How we judge our briefs

How we judge our briefs

By James Hopkirk 25/01/12

You’ve filled in your profile, uploaded your work to your portfolio and dutifully filled in an application for an IdeasTap brief. And then – nothing. For those of you who haven’t yet won a brief, the judging process might seem rather mysterious. Here, we offer an insight into how our processes work…

The Ideas Funds

These are our funding briefs: Ideas Fund Edinburgh, Ideas Fund Innovators, Ideas Fund Shorts, Ideas Fund Brighton Fringe and our various Top Up Funds.

After the deadline has passed, members of IdeasTap’s development team and members of our Creative Space programme sift through all the applications, checking for ineligible entries – for example, from people who haven’t got a profile picture or haven’t used their portfolio.

A shortlist is then drawn up, and a panel of outside experts – including arts professionals, partners (BFI, Magnum Photos, National Youth Theatre etc) and IdeasTap members – come together to debate and choose the final winners. With Ideas Fund Edinburgh, the shortlisted finalists also present to the judging panel, before a decision is made.

The Top Up Funds are slightly different - they're judged solely by a panel of IdeasTap members, who were themselves chosen via a public brief.

An IdeasTap staff member chairs every Ideas Fund judging panel to ensure all shortlisted applications are given a fair hearing - but we don't allow ourselves a vote. 


Partner briefs

For example: IdeasTap Photographic Award (with Magnum) Sky Arts Ignition: Futures Fund, The 24 Hour Plays: Old Vic New Voices, NYT’s Press Play, New Voices Edinburgh, NSDF Edinburgh Emerging Artists, NYT in China etc.

Many briefs come under this category, and the judging process is slightly different in each case. For example, with Sky Arts, our development team provides Sky with a longlist, Sky creates a shortlist and then a panel of experts meets the finalists before making a decision. The 24 Hour Plays involves several rounds of auditions, organised by Old Vic New Voices. National Youth Theatre briefs are usually judged by NYT itself, and our Photographic Award is judged by a panel of photography experts. Partner briefs have one thing in common: as with Ideas Fund briefs, the final decision never comes down to staff members at IdeasTap – winners are either chosen by our partners or by panels of experts and members.


Editorial/writing briefs

For example: The Columnist, Short Story Competition, The Poet, ENO Reporter, Edinburgh Reporter/Photographer, London Film Festival Reporter, Intern X.

Writing briefs are judged by the IdeasTap editorial team. For example, The Columnist entries are read by members of our Creative Space programme, who draw up a longlist – winners are then chosen by our Editor and Deputy Editor. The Short Story and Poet competitions are sifted by the editorial team or Creative Space members and then judged by the brief partner (eg Shortfire Press or clinic). Reporter briefs are generally judged by the Deputy Editor.


Editor’s Brief

Our monthly, multidisciplinary Editor’s Brief is sifted by our Interns or Web Assistant, who draw up a shortlist – this is then judged by the Editor and Deputy Editor.


The small print

Our larger briefs and funds have their own terms and conditions - but to find out more about who and what is (and isn't) eligible for geneeral IdeasTap briefs, read our general briefs terms and conditions


So there you are. Have any more questions? Leave us a comment. And have a look at our current briefs.


Image: the honorable judge carthum by &y, available under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.

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