Much of the following might seem obvious, but just in case, here are some tips to help you be a winner!

All themed categories

The theme you are depicting should be clear and obvious to discern! It should also clearly relate to the theme. Optionally, you can add a title and even a description (just a sentence) to qualify your exhibit if necessary. For instance, if you are deliberately making a sourdough black rye bread, it is useful to add its description, because such bread will not rise to the same degree as a white wheat flour-based one. Similarly, if you decide to bake a healthy sugar-free jam sponge, state that in your description, then you can be credited with it. Otherwise the judge might think you forgot the sugar!


For 2D exhibits, the judges will look at composition, tonal range, appropriate size for the composition (ie more elaborate, complex themes need an appropriate expanse of canvas) and relevance to the theme. Works of originality will be at an advantage, rather than, say, merely
copying the Mona Lisa! A title is optional but can help the viewer to appreciate the work. 2D maximum canvas size 20 x 16 ins. Applies to needlecraft if mounted. 3D media (e.g. pottery) are also welcome.


For themed categories, the work should be of an appropriate size (ie more elaborate, complex themes need an appropriate expanse of canvas/material), relevant to the theme, and the theme should be clear to discern. Well finished items (as opposed to unfinished threads everywhere!) will be at an advantage. Maximum canvas size 20 x 16 ins. if mounted.


Judges will look especially at subject composition and relevance to the theme. It can be worth moving yourself around to get the best angle on a shot!  It’s not essential to have expert image-processing skills – these above points can take you a long way. However, the more you know, the better your exhibit may become! Here are a few more tips.  If you have a main object of interest, is this obvious to the viewer, or is it lost in the background or surrounded by a very busy background? On the other hand, if your subject is a panoramic landscape, is there a good depth of field to show foreground and distance in focus together? To capture that mood of nature or community life, try taking photographs with a variety of settings (e.g. aperture or shutter speed), if your camera has them. Avoid over-processing images, but aim for good tonal and colour balance, appropriate exposure (ie avoid over-or under-exposed images unless deliberately intended), and good quality printing (gloss/lustre).  Print your photograph entries (preferably on gloss/lustre paper) between A5 and A4 (max) size, with border.  Please remember to also send your images to dropbox. Instructions on flyer and repeated below at end.


For the Longdendale special, don’t forget to include your recipe when you bring your exhibit!  The judge comments: Apart from the decorating section I will always put taste above appearance.  Although appearance is important it is the flavour that matters most to me.  A cake or bread that looks amazing but tastes like cardboard is always a disappointment.

Victoria Sponge: This should be even crumb, even rise and not too dry around the edges with a light and airy texture. I like a good butter cream in the middle with a well flavoured jam.

Longdendale special:  I would look for some interesting flavours that go well together.

Bread: good flavour with even sized holes. Chocolate chip cookies – I like my cookies to be chewy and have enough chocolate in to be able to taste.

Any six biscuits: A variety of biscuits would be good although they don’t all have to be a different
flavour.  I would like to see evenly shaped biscuits with a good flavour and colour.


The above points about relevance to the theme apply. The judge will be looking at how the careful choice of words evoke a mood, dramatic quality or paint a picture in the mind, using the tools of poetic construction. Preferred – mount your poem on a poster (maximum size approx. 20 x 25”).

Fancy dress

Any medieval theme is welcomed, especially in relation to the Magna Carta period, which can include Robin Hood themes! Entries showing originality and own skill will be at an advantage.


The above points about relevance to the theme apply. Entries illustrating the theme will be at an advantage. Any aspect of Longdendale’s history or a historic person connected to the locality is suitable. Tip – introduce your work with an interesting “hook” to capture the reader’s curiosity. Add a caption to your photograph(s) which also do this. Avoid over-long background details which may make the reader lose interest. Preferred – mount your work on a poster (maximum size approx. 24 x 29”). If words exceed poster space, submit as booklet/stapled pages (3000 words max), 8PM Fri 17th at MEC, or earlier in week to Nick Wood’s ironmongers, to give judges time to read your work.

For C8, the above points about relevance to the theme apply. Entrants majoring on the use of their own materials will be at an advantage. For the vegetable animal, entries showing originality will be at an advantage. If using manufactured kit pieces such as Lego, constructions showing creativity and originality will be at an advantage.

Open themed categories  
Several categories (e.g. in the country crafts) have an open theme. This allows you to select a theme according to your own creative choice. Florists can organise their flowers at the venue, by prior arrangement (so to speak!) if they wish.

Photographers – dropbox info (as stated on flyer) To help us build our website, please upload your photos into dropbox anytime during the week 11
– 17th July, using the guidelines below. Uploaded images will not be judged.

1). Open 2). If you do not already have an account, signup by entering your email and choosing a password. The process takes moments.

3). Upload the photo you wish to submit into your “Public” folder.

4). Right click the photo when it has successfully uploaded and select “Copy public link”.5). Paste this link into a new email and send to using the subject header “Photography competition entry”.

Unable to use dropbox? Email images (1 image per email) to

Any questions? Email us at, phone 07926 778815 or drop in on Nick and Sue Woods (ironmongers) for further help.