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Mastering Word Counts in Award Entries - The Insider's Guide

Ladies, it’s time to get technical.

Do you ever felt like you’re playing a high-stakes game of Tetris, trying to fit your colossal ideas into those pesky award entry word limits? You're not alone! 

Today, we're diving deep into the art of mastering word counts across different platforms—be it MS Word, Google Docs, or the award submission portals. 

Plus, I’m sharing my tricks to help you trim down your words without losing your sparkle. 

Let’s go…

The Great Word Count Conundrum

Understanding how word counts differ across platforms can save you from last-minute panic attacks. Whether you’re drafting in MS Word, fine-tuning in Google Docs, or pasting into an award platform, each has its quirks:

💻 Word is the old faithful, but beware of hidden formatting elements like spacing and section breaks that can sneak in extra characters.

💻 Google Docs is super handy for real-time editing and collaboration, but it handles text spacing slightly differently from MS Word, which can affect character counts.

💻 Award Platforms are often the final point in your submission journey. These can be strict with limits, cutting off text past a certain point, and sometimes not counting spaces and punctuation the same way your word processor does.

Bearing all of this in mind will help you not give up at that final hurdle.

How to Slash and Burn Word Counts (Painlessly)

Cutting down word counts can bring back flashbacks of coursework and boring presentations but it must be done. Here’s how to keep it concise, compelling, and clear:

💻 Ditch the Warm-up Act

Forget the flowery introductions. Jump straight to the main act. Instead of saying, “We believe we deserve to win this award because...”, cut to the chase by launching straight into the fabulous things you've done.

Remember: every word needs to earn its place on the page.

💻 Contract Away

One of the quickest and easiest ways to save words is by changing all your "I am"s, "we are"s and "could not"s to "I'm", "we're" and "couldn't". Contractions not only make your writing sound more personable and friendly (as opposed to robotic) but also save a truckload of words!

💻 Say No to Deja Vu

Avoid repetition. If you've already made a point, trust your reader to remember it. Reiterating the same idea in different words just eats up your precious word count and tests the judges' patience.

💻 Embrace the Slash

Use hyphens and slashes to combine words. Turning “an interview held face to face” into “face-to-face interview” not only saves space but also looks cleaner.

💻 Trim the Fat

Adjectives and adverbs often add more fluff than value. Before you describe something as “very unique,” remember that “unique” alone does the job. Be ruthless in cutting out these extras unless they're crucial for clarity.

💻 Simplify Phrases

Replace phrases like “in order to” with “to.” It’s simpler, it’s shorter, and it’s sweeter. Keep your sentences as straightforward as possible.

Why Bother?

You might wonder why all this matters. Well, in the fierce arena of award entries, clarity and brevity are your best allies. They not only make your submission easier to read but also more memorable. 

Plus, sticking to the word count shows you can follow guidelines—a big tick for judges!

Bringing in the Big Guns

Feeling overwhelmed? 

That’s where an awards strategist comes in (👋🏻). I’ll help you hone your message, ensuring every word you write is purposeful and powerful.

Working with an expert means transforming your draft from a rough diamond to a gleaming gem. 

It means your words earn their space on the page and they move you towards a space on that shortlist. It means your awards submission is ready to catch any judge's eye.

Remember, entering awards is not just about showcasing your achievements. It’s about packaging them in a way that’s as impressive as the content itself. 

Use these tips to master your word counts across any platform and elevate your entries from good to outstanding.

Ready to give your award entries the edge they need? 

Let’s get those words working as hard as you do. Drop me a line we’ve got this. 

Let’s Talk about YOUR entry for a Specific Award.


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