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Award Winning

The 2015 winner was Sharon Mehrman of Florence, Mass. – her stunning inlaid maple “Thread Chest” is pictured here (you can see more of her work at

From the June 2016 Issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine.

The submission period opened on April 1 for the 2016 PWM Excellence Awards – but there’s still plenty of time to enter your work (and be in the running for the $1,000 Grand Prize). Submissions will be accepted at through June 17.

This is the fourth annual PWM Excellence Awards; every year, the competition gets stiffer and more varied – I’m eager to see the stellar work 2016 will bring, and to share it with you in these pages.

So, dig out your best pictures of your best work (from within the last five years), and enter today!

The six winners will be featured in the November 2016 issue, and all entries are available for viewing online for Readers’ Choice voting.

The Grand-prize Winner will receive a check for $1,000. Each of the five Editors’ Choice winners, and the Readers’ Choice winner with the highest number of votes overall, will win a $100 gift certificate to

You can enter up to five pieces total in the five following categories:

Casework, Cabinets & Bookcases



Boxes & Smalls (a “small,” for example, might be a mantel clock or a beautiful shop-made wooden tool).

Turnings, Carvings & Objets d’Art (“objets” encompass wall-hung art pieces, sculpture, wooden jewelry, etc.).

The editors and contributing editors to Popular Woodworking Magazine will select the Grand-prize Winner, plus the winner in each of the five categories. Your online voting determines the Readers’ Choice winner (voting opens June 20).

And on the subject of pictures: No matter how impressive a piece of woodwork might be, if the picture is not good, we will not be able to appreciate it. So I beg you to submit pictures that show your work in all its glory (and be aware that if your work is selected among the winners, you’ll need to provide a high-resolution image for the print magazine). Think clean, flat, uncluttered backgrounds – no crazy wallpaper or paneling, no distracting curtains. Good lighting is also key – but not everyone has a lighting setup. If that’s you, I recommend shooting in diffused natural light – avoid harsh shadows. And focus…please make sure your shots are in focus. (Apologies for the pedantry…I just want you to do well!)

You’ll find all the contest details, as well as directions on how to enter, on our website at

— Megan Fitzpatrick

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