The race is on to find this year’s leading gardening bloggers, writers, presenters, journalists and photographers as a new-look Garden Media Guild Awards opens for entries.
Three new awards will be up for grabs including Social Media Influencer of the Year, recognising the trend-setting power of ‘horti’ social sharing. An explosion in the number of people communicating their gardening successes - and failures – across all social platforms has led to a growth in these green-fingered, online influencers. They can champion long-forgotten gardening techniques or prompt a sales rush for a particular plant, tool or accessory at the touch of a button.
Horticultural trade press will have its own new category, Trade Publication of the Year, and Digital Innovation of the Year will celebrate the wide and diverse field of online publishing, such as web and native apps, web-based content, vlogs, YouTube channels and online broadcasts. Each category also will now be judged by three people instead of two.
Clare Foggett, chair of the Garden Media Guild (GMG), said: "After a record number of entries to the GMG Awards last year, we decided the time was right to make our celebration of the best of our industry even better. In spring, we held our first ever awards steering group, and invited a range of highly-regarded people from across gardening media to contribute their thoughts on how our awards could be further improved and refined.
“Our new categories this year are one of the first changes resulting from that meeting to be implemented. We're also changing how the awards are judged, with more judges for each category making for a well-rounded debate and an even fairer decision on who will win one of our coveted awards."
Last year saw Jack Wallington scoop Blog of the Year and he has since written for The Telegraph, RHS The Garden, Gardens Illustrated, Plant Heritage and Gardeners’ World Magazine, plus spoken at BBC Gardeners’ World Live. He said: "Winning a GMG award, recognising my work over the last few years, introduced me to lots of new people at gardening publications and raised awareness of my garden writing. I've since been asked to write for a number of my favourite publications helping me to start out on my dream career - it's early days still but I feel incredibly grateful to everyone."
The full list of categories for 2018 are as follows:
The Peter Seabrook Practical Book of the Year Award, sponsored by The Garden Press Event
Garden Book of the Year (Reference and Inspirational)
Garden Publication of the Year
Trade Publication of the Year, sponsored by The Landscape Show
The Dr David Hessayon Garden Columnist of the Year Award
News Journalist of the Year, sponsored by Briggs & Stratton
Practical Journalist of the Year, sponsored by Thompson & Morgan
Journalist of the Year, sponsored by Stihl
The Gordon Rae Photographer of the Year Award
Features Photographer of the Year
The Roy Lancaster TV Broadcast of the Year Award, sponsored by HTA
Radio Broadcast / Podcast of the Year
The Alan Titchmarsh New Talent Award
Blog of the Year, sponsored by Mr Fothergill’s
Website of the Year, sponsored by Honda
Digital Innovation of the Year, sponsored by Cobra
Social Media Influencer of the Year
The deadline for entries is 30 September 2018 and the awards lunch will be held on 29 November 2018 at the Savoy in London. More information at www.gardenmediaguild.co.uk/awards.