December is one of the most celebratory and giving times of the year - and I aim to make it even more so! That's why, every December like clockwork, I open up our Cookiers' Choice Awards nominations process. Now is the time to reflect on those cookiers who most motivated, inspired, and/or amazed you throughout 2017, and to give back to them by celebrating their accomplishments with a Cookiers' Choice Awards nomination.
But before we get to this year's awards categories* and details, let me back up a bit for those not familiar with our program. First, it's an annual program designed to honor the best and brightest stars in the cookie decorating world for work done in the preceding year - in this case, 2017. Second, it's called the Cookiers' Choice Awards, because the finalists are determined by votes cast by you and cookiers all over the globe. Third, once the slate of finalists is determined through your secret ballots, a team of Cookie Connection contributors, other cookie "celebrities", and I will determine the final winners, culminating in their unveiling around mid-February. And, last but not least, each winner will receive a $500 cash prize; a commemorative, custom-engraved crystal trophy; and a Cookier Close-up feature here on Cookie Connection!
All clear?! Okay, then let's move onto this year's details!
The nominations process will be open from now until January 13, 2018 (5 pm central), so don't delay in making your voice heard! To submit nominations, scroll to the very bottom of this post, and click on the big pink "SUBMIT NOMINATIONS" button - naturally!
But before you do so, please carefully read the program details and category descriptions (selection criteria) below. You will only be given one opportunity to nominate just one person/business per category.
- All of the awards are international in scope and open to anyone anywhere, including winners from previous years, provided the nominee meets the criteria in each category description, below.
- Please note that Cookie Connection and its host/owner (that's me!) are not eligible for nomination in any category.
- However, any other Cookie Connection contributor is eligible.
- No nominee, whether a contributor or otherwise, will be eligible to serve on the final awards judging panel.
- Nominations from anyone, not just Cookie Connection members, are accepted. Self-nominations are also accepted.
- Again, nominations will close on January 13, 2018 (5 pm central). Judges and finalists will be announced before January 30, and winners will be announced in mid-February 2018.
*Awards Category Descriptions
I've simplified the awards process this year by distilling the awards (which used to number four) into the following two categories. I've also opened up the Cookie Artist of the Year category to any cookier anywhere. Previously, it had been reserved for Cookie Connection members.
Cookie Artist of the Year: Awarded to the cookie artist whose 2017 portfolio of work most impressed and inspired the larger cookie decorating community and the Cookiers' Choice Awards judging panel. Cookie portfolios will be evaluated on technical difficulty, number of techniques used, mastery of techniques, originality, and overall design appeal/artistry. Finalists will be required to submit a minimum of 10 photos of original cookie work produced in 2017. Copies of others' work are strictly prohibited. This category is open to individuals only (not businesses), professionals and hobbyists, and both Cookie Connection members and non-members.
Cookier of the Year: Awarded to the cookier or cookie enterprise that is deemed by the larger cookie decorating community and Cookiers' Choice Awards judging panel to have contributed most positively to the cookie decorating world in 2017 through activities that extend beyond cookie artistry. Entrants will NOT be judged on their cookie artistry, but rather on the scope and impact of their 2017 contributions to education, product or business development, philanthropy, and/or other activities. This category is open to both Cookie Connection members and non-members, and to both individuals and organizations (i.e., retailers, cookie decorating schools, etc.).
So, with all that background now behind us, it's time to vote! Again, you will have just one chance to nominate one person (or business) in each category. So please read the above descriptions again if they weren't clear the first time, or ask me clarifying questions in the comments at the end of this post. Then, click on the big pink "SUBMIT NOMINATIONS" button below to be taken to a short survey that will walk you through the nominations process. Remember, these awards are based on merit, not popularity.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to celebrate your colleagues!
** SUBMIT NOMINATIONS **