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Rules & Guidance

National Junior Competition Guidance notes for Competitors

The main thing is to enjoy what you do. If you are pleased with what you have done it is likely to please the judges. The judges find it very hard to mark entries and this sheet has been produced to let you know what can make a judge think one entry is better than another. Ask an adult if you need help you understand this sheet.

Entries may be hand written or produced by computer printers - each is equally acceptable and the difficulty in producing neat entries by either method is taken into account by the judges. Neat displays that look nice always impress. Marks are given for originality in your title and description.
Try to tell some sort of story in your display with clear links between the items on a sheet and between the sheets. Try to imagine what they will look like when they are on display. When displayed the sheets are mounted:

1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16

Non-postal content should enhance and explain the entry but the most prominent items on the display should be the stamps. Space taken up by large non postal items, such as pictures or picture postcards reduces the space for postal items and the potential to gain marks for having more stamp or stamp related content.

Appropriate content that gains marks is anything produced by postal organisations designed to be used for postal purposes. Stamps should form the largest part of the content but the inclusion of relevant post marks, meter marks, postal stationary or stamp booklets will gain marks. Entire Presentation Packs should not be included. The illustrations and designs on First Day Covers are not counted in the judging but relevant stamps and post marks on them are. As First Day Covers take up so much space they should be used sparingly as they prevent the inclusion of more, smaller, items. Large miniature sheets should also be used sparingly for the same reason.

The difficulty in finding relevant material is taken into account by the judges. Sets and pre-cancelled items issued by some countries for stamp collectors do not count as highly as stamps that were used on posted letters or mint material primarily issued for postal purposes. Using relevant single stamps from larger general sets helps demonstrate knowledge about stamps. Stamps should be in good condition. Torn or damaged stamps should not be used. On used stamps the postmarks should not hide the design, unless, as on some very old stamps, when the postmarks are always very heavy.

Usually only one stamp should be used from sets issued with stamps all of the same design, differing only by colour and value, unless they can be included in different parts of the display.

You should not use the same stamp more than once.

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This page was last modified on 14th September 2020

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