Monday, July 21, 2008

Behind the Scenes at the Best of British Scrapbooking

By Rosie Waddicor of ScrapBook inspirations Magazine

You may not know it, but across the pond the Best of British Scrapbooking awards are just getting underway. The contest is the biggest of its kind in the UK and it’s hosted by the magazine I work for, ScrapBook inspirations. Every year the contest gets bigger, and the quality of entries gets higher, so you can imagine the excitement that’s already building!

When Joanna invited me to share some of my thoughts about Best of British Scrapbooking with you I jumped at the chance – it’s the UK’s chance to shine! Joanna began the contest back in 2003. In 2005, the winning work first appeared in a book called The Best of British Scrapbooking and Cardmaking. Shortly afterwards, our magazine approached Joanna about working with her on the contest. Over the last three years the contest has evolved but I’m pleased to say that Joanna is still with us. From encouraging readers to enter to looking at each and every submission (no mean feat!) and declaring the winners, Joanna is very much at the heart of Best of British.

If you want to see how the contest works you can visit our blog So rather than repeating myself, I thought I’d let you know a bit about what went on behind the scenes last year.

In 2007 we had our biggest number of entries ever, so many in fact, it crashed our email for a little while. Much hair-pulling ensued and eventually I had to get one of our tech guys to come in save the day! Fortunately the entries were all rescued and quickly burned to disc. We zipped them off to Joanna and anxiously waited for her decision. I have to say, I do not envy her the task of judging the contest. The quality of entries is tremendous and it’s the little details and heart-felt stories that make Joanna want to declare everyone a winner! I’m pretty strict though and make her whittle the entries down to just six and from this shortlist an overall winner was chosen.

Once I had the winners’ names I settled down for the very best bit about my job – ringing them up to tell them the good news. Oh there was disbelief and shock, squealing and laughing from six very giddy scrappers (and me too!). And it was then that our work really began as we prepared to showcase the winners in the magazine. As well as featuring the winning layouts, our Best of British Scrapbookers (affectionately referred to in the office as the BoB ladies!) got paid commissions to do work for the magazine, a heap of prizes from our generous sponsors, and new for this year, we’ll also be displaying their layouts at the Stitch & Craft Show in London.

Since our Best of British Scrapbooking 2007 winners were announced I’ve had the privilege of watching them grow as scrapbookers, taking confidence from their win and feeling proud that their talents have been recognised. I can’t wait to see what this year’s contest will bring (I have a good feeling about it!) and I look forward to meeting the BoB ladies of 2008!


Camille Minichino said...

I have the book pictured and "visit" it often for ideas. I'm not a dedicated scrapbooker, but I do make my own cards and love the photos and tips in this book.

Thanks for sharing the excitement of the contest, Joanna and Rosie!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Camille, that book was a ton of fun to create. The layouts were so exciting I could barely sleep for thinking about them. Honest! And gosh, the cards sure were inspiring, weren't they?