Now that we have passed the deadline for submissions for the 2016 Earth Pathways Diary we thought it might be useful to explain how we process all of the things that have been sent to us and how we go about choosing pieces to include in the diary.
The first task is to open the mountain of post we receive full of submission forms, CDs and thumbnail printouts. Each submission is placed into a plastic envelope and filed alphabetically into a BIG lever arch file. Next we prepare a spreadsheet where we log the name and details of every person who has made a submission. Then comes the mammoth task of collating all of the words and images we have received. Some are straight forward, others a little more challenging!! (You’d be surprised how often we get electronic files with names like 2013083-whlx.jpg and then have to ‘match’ the images with the titles) We also invariably have some files sent to us in formats which we can’t open and so begins the task of finding a programme to open them! And of course we get a few admin hiccups whereby folk have forgotten to include a crucial part of their application so we bustle around, calling or emailing, and ask them to whizz it to us – because we want EVERYONE to get a chance to submit.
We feel it is important to spend a long time considering the words and images and so we use a secure electronic file sharing system, DropBox, to circulate every piece of work that has been sent to us. This means each person in the Weaving Circle (the name we have lovingly given to the group of folk who vote on the work received!) can spend time considering which pieces they feel a strong connection with, and matching words with images to create a meaningful impact when placed within the diary. We create ‘voting sheets’ where we can comment on every single submission received; creating the voting sheets is a fiddly and painstaking task in itself but it is SO important that everything gets an equal chance :o) [Read the second part of this blog post here]