Plain English Awards 2018, sponsored by Mason Hayes & Curran

Plain English Awards 2018

Entries are now closed - thank you to everyone who submitted an entry and best of luck!

The National Adult Literacy Agency has teamed up with leading law firm Mason Hayes & Curran to launch the second Irish Plain English Awards. The aims of the awards are to reward organisations that communicate clearly and to promote the use of plain English in all public information.

Building on the success of the first awards in 2016, this year’s awards has five categories, including one for the public called ‘Best letter or email rewritten in plain English’. This category will be open to members of the public to rewrite in plain English a confusing letter or email they received from an organisation. Entries for this category will be in with a chance to win €500.

There are also four categories that organisations or businesses from any sector can enter. So, if you’ve got a document you’re proud of, or an awful piece of text that you’ve transformed, you’ve got an entry.

The deadline for entering the Plain English Awards is 5pm on Friday 19 October 2018.

The winners in each category, along with the overall winner, will be announced at a special awards ceremony in February 2019.


There are five categories in this year’s Plain English Awards and you can enter more than one category.

NALA staff, its plain English editors and trainers and staff from Mason Hayes & Curran cannot enter these awards.

Category 1 (open to the public). Best letter or email rewritten in plain English

Entries for this category will be in with a chance to win €500.

Has an organisation sent you a letter or email that has left you feeling confused and frustrated? Have you ever asked: Why don’t they just say what they mean? Now is your chance to show them how it’s done.

To enter this category, all you have to do is rewrite, in plain English, a confusing letter or email that you have received from any business or organisation. Please submit the original letter or email along with your own easier to understand version. Please submit all documents related to this entry as one file.

Category 2. Best use of plain English by an organisation

NALA is encouraging businesses and organisations from all sectors to tell us how they are using plain English. For example, have you provided plain English training to staff? Or does your organisation produce documents, for staff or for the public, that you think are outstanding examples of plain English? 

You can enter this category by simply sending us a document that you have produced in plain English. 

If your organisation hasn't produced any documents in plain English, you can still enter this category by telling us, in 500 words or less, about your organisation's efforts to communicate more clearly, and why your organisation should be considered as a successful user of plain English.

Category 3. Plain English – The impact

We want you to tell us about how using plain English has had a positive impact on your organisation or business. For example, since you started communicating in plain English to staff, clients or the public, have you noticed increased profit or an increase in people using your services?

To enter this category, please send us evidence of the positive impact of plain English. Please provide supporting statistics, analytics or anecdotal evidence that you have recorded. If you are submitting a document that you have produced in plain English please submit no more than five pages from it. Please submit all documents related to this entry as one file.

Category 4. Champions of plain English

Is there someone in your organisation who is always saying that you need to stamp out the jargon or cut out the gobbledygook? We want to hear all about that person who is championing the use of clear communication. Tell us, in 500 words or less, about how they are trying to improve the way your organisation communicates.

Category 5. Plain English in the digital world

From websites and tweets to Facebook posts and LinkedIn articles, all organisations and businesses have information online these days. We want to hear from those who think they are communicating in a clear and easy-to-understand manner on their online platforms.

If you think your website is a good example of plain English, then you can enter this category by sending us a word document or PDF containing URLs and screenshots of up to five pages from the site. 

You can also enter this category by sending us a word document or PDF containing screenshots of up to five examples of your Facebook posts, tweets or LinkedIn articles that you think are good examples of plain English. 

Here is what happened at our last Plain English Awards ceremony