How to enter

Who can enter the Epic Awards?

The Epic Awards are for creative projects that involve citizens, artists and creative people who participate for the love of it and on an amateur basis.

You can be based anywhere in the UK or Republic of Ireland, practise any kind of art form or craft and work with any age group. Your nominated project can be long or short-term, as long as some or all of it took place in the twelve months prior to the deadline of Thursday 31 December 2015

Choosing our winners

Epic Awards logos 2015A winner and runner-up will be chosen for each of the four awards: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Our judging panel features Voluntary Arts staff, advisory group and board members, as well as representatives of national arts councils.

All shortlisted groups will be eligible for the People's Choice Award, voted for online by members of the public. Shortlisted groups can also vote for each other to win the Peer Award for Excellence and put themselves forward for additional awards for Excellent Work with Young People and Disabled People.

What we’re looking for

Groups or projects that show just how engaging, collaborative, innovative and creative amateur arts and crafts can be. 'EPIC' stands for Engagement, Partnerships, Innovation and Creativity and entries need to demonstrate one or more of these qualities:

  • Engagement: Reaching out and attracting an audience. Do you work with participants from a different background to yourself? Participate in recruitment drives? Or perhaps reach out to younger people or people with disabilities? How do you ensure your group thrives in terms of numbers and diversity?
  • Partnerships: Do you work with organisations allowing both groups to function more effectively by sharing information and skills or pooling resources? This could be a local authority, voluntary or community group, arts organisation or commercial company.
  • Innovation: Fresh thinking that creates new value. What new ideas and approaches have impacted your group? This could be with technology and media, i,e, TV, film, radio or web or changing how you present your art with unusual venues or audience participation.
  • Creative development: Has your group developed significantly in terms of skill levels? How did you achieve this? Did they attend conferences, courses, work with professionals or another art form, read books or share skills with one another? How have you approached the learning element within your group?

Why you should nominate your group for an Epic Award

To stand out from the crowd - Whether you’re trying to get coverage in your local paper, or shine in a funding application, saying you’ve been shortlisted for – or have won – an Epic Award will let everyone know you’ve got something special to offer.

To celebrate your achievements – Previous winners have been treated to an all-expenses paid trip to the Winners’ Reception, an occasion one winner called ‘the highlight of our year ’.

To win prizes – Each year, we award a range of prizes to winners and runners-up. Previous winners have walked away with gift vouchers, free mentoring, art supplies and cash prizes.

Step One

Look at the rules and criteria below to make sure that your group is eligible to apply.

Download an application form and fill it out.

Nominations from Wales can be made by completing the Welsh or English forms.
Mae croeso i chi wneud eich cais yn Gymraeg neu'n Saesneg.

Download form in English

Llawrlwytho ffurflen gais

Step Two

Upload completed entries using the form on this site or email to your national office (contact details at top of application form), making sure you have included any supplementary material (photos, press cuttings etc), between 9am on Monday 19 October 2015 and 5pm on Thursday 31 December 2015

Step Three

Wait for news of the shortlist to be unveiled in February 2016. If you’re on the shortlist, join us in publicising your group far and wide for the People’s Choice Award.

Eye on the prize ...

    • Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland winners:

      • Specially made Epic Award trophy
      • Framed certificate
      • £250
      • A tailored package of training, mentoring and promotion to help bring your group to the next level from Voluntary Arts and Epic Award partners
    • Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales runners up:

      • Framed certificate
      • Mentoring from Voluntary Arts and Epic Award partners
      • £75

Rules and criteria

    • 1. How to enter

    • The Epic Awards are for creative projects that involve citizens, artists and creative people who participate for the love of it and on an amateur basis.

      Organisers can be a voluntary group, a professional organisation or an individual creative citizen as long as the voluntary artists involved are also involved in the decision making and running of the project

      To be eligible to apply for an Epic Award you have to be able to answer yes to the following questions:

      • Our project involves citizens, artists and creative people who participate for the love of it and on an amateur basis.
      • Any paid staff we involve in delivery of project activities are not the sole decision makers
      • Our project activity took place in the last year (or is ongoing) and was based in the UK or Republic of Ireland
    • 2. What will happen to supplementary material we submit?

    • We welcome supplementary material to add weight to your application, such as photographs, press cuttings etc. Please email this if at all possible. If you would like to submit it by post, and wish to have it returned, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope.

      By submitting material, you agree to it being published on the Epic Awards website, the Voluntary Arts website and any publicity material connected to Voluntary Arts. We will only use it to promote Voluntary Arts, the Epic Awards and your group’s activities.

    • 3. What copyright, permissions and legitimacy must we have to enter?

    • Entrants must certify that appropriate copyright clearances and permissions for all submitted materials have been obtained (e.g. permission of people in the photographs).

      Your entry form, and any supplementary material, must relate specifically to your group.

      Your entry, and all information you submit and/or distribute to publicise your entry, must not infringe the intellectual property, privacy or any other rights of any third party.

    • 4. Judging Process

    • A winner and runner-up each will be chosen from: England, Ireland (including Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland), Scotland and Wales.

      Our judging panel features Voluntary Arts staff, advisory group and board members, as well as representatives from stakeholders and funders.

      All shortlisted groups will be eligible for the People's Choice Award, voted for online by members of the public. Shortlisted groups can also vote for each other to win the Peer Award for Excellence. Those working with young people and disabled people can put themselves forward for additional awards in these categories.

      The judges' decision is final, and Voluntary Arts will not enter into any discussion concerning the results. We are, however, very happy to offer feedback upon request to any interested groups.

    • 5. Publicity

    • We strongly recommend that all shortlisted groups publicise themselves far and wide, in order to attract votes for the People’s Choice Award. Tips and advice on how to do this will appear on the Epic Awards website blog.

      Winning groups and runners-up will receive an electronic Epic Award winner pack, which will include a logo and branding, which they can use on any communication or publicity they wish.

      Winners may be requested to take part in promotional activity in relation to the Epic Awards. Voluntary Arts reserves the right to use the names of winners, their photographs and audio and/or visual recordings submitted by them in any publicity to promote the Epic Awards and Voluntary Arts in general.

    • 6. How we handle your information

    • Voluntary Arts follows UK data protection legislation, and therefore any personal data you submit (email addresses, phone numbers etc.) will not be disclosed to a third party without your prior consent.

      Any data submitted to the Epic Awards will be retained by Voluntary Arts for a reasonable period after the awards close, for administration purposes.

    • 7. Terms and Conditions

      • By entering the awards, you agree that all information submitted by you is true, current and that all the necessary copyright/permission is in place.
      • Voluntary Arts reserves the right to make any changes to the deadline date or prizes that subsequently become necessary.
      • Voluntary Arts may edit, remove or disable access to information and entries that appear to be legally or otherwise problematic (e.g. infringe the copyright or other intellectual property or privacy rights of others, are defamatory, or for any other legitimate reason).
      • Voluntary Arts also reserves the right to disqualify any entrant if it has reasonable grounds to believe the entrant has breached any of the Rules.