Puzzle Hobby Magazine proudly supports the Annual Puzzle Pals Choice Awards. The Winners receive a digital image for display on their social media and a Certificate.
The program is gaining visibility as well as giving Voters an awareness of the different Categories associated with this hobby. It also gives the Nominees another opportunity for social media exposure along with bragging rights if awarded.
The following in information in more details for the upcoming year 2022. The Q&A's will provide clarification for the event.
Following that, we have had the opportunity to get brief email interviews with the Founders of the Puzzle Pals Choice Award.
Q. How did you join forces and start that program?
A: Sarah: Bizzle and I have been friends since my first day on puzzlegram. One day I had this crazy idea to do a People's Choice Awards but for puzzles, so I called up Diane and pitched her the idea and the rest is history!
Q. Can you explain in detail how the Award Program works or the rules/regulations for example? And how does the voting process work?
A. Sarah: This year we decided to change things up a little bit and have companies be able to nominate themselves as well as puzzlers nominating their favorites. We reached out to 100+ brands with the nomination form and received hundreds of responses. We then compiled those into a first round of voting. After the first round we took the top 5-6 vote getters and put them in the final round.
Diane: We spread the word to the puzzling community organically by posting in different Facebook groups, on Instagram, and on Reddit. Historically, we have not required any form of registration to vote. We have used Google forms. For the 2022 awards, that is one of the biggest changes we are making. In order to vote, there will be registration required. This will prevent multiple votes by the same person. We typically have each round of voting open for a week. That gives more people the opportunity to vote.
Sarah: It's 100% Puzzle Pal voting and nomination. Diane and I don't make any nominations or even vote. We just compile the data and host the show!
Q. You have done the Awards Program 2 years in a row now and it sounds like you want to continue for a third year. Where do you see the program in 5 years and what might that future goal look like?
A: Next year, we are hoping to be in the same location for the award show. We're looking into how we can broadcast across multiple channels as well. We've been doing the live show on Instagram only and we know that is a limitation. We also want to give the winners a trophy in addition to the badges and certificates.
Q. I know the website domain name and page has been set up. What can we expect to see on the website?
A: We're hoping to keep puzzlers up to date on new releases, brands, and innovations throughout the year to make the nomination process easier for them when it comes time. Having all that information in one place will be super helpful! We've also talked about doing interviews with artists, brands, and puzzlers as well. We are totally open to any ideas and would love to know what readers would like to see!
Q. In terms of marketing the Awards Program, can you share some plans you have in mind?
A: With the creation of the Puzzle Pals Instagram and Facebook accounts, that will help us get more visibility across social media. We've had the show connected to our Instagram profiles for the past 2 years. By separating it, that will allow us to build an audience that is interested in the Awards program. Our website will also help with our marketing efforts. We have not decided what, if anything, we will do in terms of paid advertisements.
Q. Lastly, will there be defined dates each year so Readers/Puzzlers can plan accordingly.
A: You can always plan for the nomination with the form that starts circulating on January 2. The voting is done in rounds starting in late January through February. The awards show typically takes place in mid to late February.
Q. For our Readers, can you tell us where you live?
I live in North East Arkansas.
Q. Would you like to share some background details about yourself? I am the Art and Marketing Director for an online tutoring company. I've been married for just over 2 years and have a 12-year-old stepdaughter who is not particularly into puzzles, but will do the "ones with the cool pieces" (wooden) every so often. I have 3 dogs; Zita, Beau, and Ari. My corgi, Beau, is a known puzzle piece eater. I have to be quick if I happen to drop a piece on the floor. I am honored to get to share my puzzle love as a brand ambassador for Wentworth, Art & Fable, Genuine Fred, Puzzle Warehouse, and The Puzzle Lab. I also consult regularly with several other brands offering feedback on images, quality, and marketing.
Q. How long have you been doing jigsaw puzzles? I don't remember not puzzling. I've gone in phases where I did not puzzle for months or even years (when I was in high school and college). But it has always been an activity I turned to when life got overwhelming. The earliest puzzles I remember doing were Sesame Street tray puzzles. We had a couple of Playskool ones that were wood and some cardboard ones from Golden. I also collected puzzles with Christian Riese Lassen's art, especially the circular ones. In March 2017, I decided to share my puzzles on Instagram. That evolved into changing my username (from diane1002 to bizzlespuzzles). Then I took my first trip to Puzzle Warehouse in July 2017. That was definitely when the hobby started to turn more into a passion. I was chatting with my friend David one summer night in 2018 and he suggested I record a time-lapse of putting a puzzle together. Since then, I have recorded a time-lapse of nearly every puzzle I have put together. I love going back and seeing the different approaches I take.
Q. On average, how many puzzles do you do per week? I average about 2 puzzles per week.
Q. How long does it take you to do a 1000 piece puzzle? I don't time myself so I honestly don't know. I take my time and enjoy all the details. If I had to guess, I'd say on average 8 hours.
Q. You do a variety of puzzles so, do you have any specific preference? For me, it is all about art. I love all styles of art – abstract, contemporary, and surreal are my current favorites. One of the things I love most about puzzles is being able to see those minute details that I otherwise may have missed when looking at an image as a whole. When assembling a puzzle, you really get to learn about the art in an intimate way. I do all sizes, styles, materials. I love innovation. When there is something new to the puzzle world, I have to try it.
Q. How long does it take you to get as many followers as you have? I've had my puzzle account since March 2017. When puzzles became popular during the pandemic lockdowns, there was an increase in puzzle people. It has been really fun seeing everything evolve on Instagram.
Q. What is the one most memorable puzzle or puzzle situation you experienced that is most outstanding to you? Is there something that either 'super surprised' you or you were blown away that you accomplished? This is the hardest question for me. Do I go with finding my dream puzzle - the 32,000 piece Keith Haring Double Retrospect from Ravensburger? Or the custom puzzles I've received from my sister and my friend Ron? Or maybe the black and white line drawing puzzle from Odd Goods? Finishing that one was a feat! Then there's the first wood puzzle I did, which was such a unique experience - a Liberty puzzle with art by Alex Beard. I have so many memories associated with puzzles that it is impossible for me to pick just one.
Q. For our Readers, can you tell us where you live?
St. Paul, Minnesota
Q. Would you like to share some background details about yourself?
Outside of puzzling, I enjoy hanging out with my pup Cannoli, reading/listening to (audio)books, attempting to cook, and working on my 110 year old house. But let’s be honest, most of my time goes to puzzling and puppy snuggles!
Q. How long have you been doing jigsaw puzzles?
I've been doing jigsaw puzzles ever since I was a little kid. I used to get up early on Saturday morning to work on 100 piece puzzles before my parents woke up.
Q. On average, how many puzzles do you do per week?
Lately, I've been so busy it's only been 1 or 2, but during the beginning of the pandemic I was doing 1-2 daily with my mom! Sometimes if I have an open Saturday morning I try to do a few 300-500 piece puzzles.
Q. How long does it take you to do a 1000 piece puzzle?
If I'm competing, usually around 2-4 hours. If I'm taking my time I can usually get it done in 1-3 evenings.
Q. You do a variety of puzzles so, do you have any specific preference?
I really just like fun images! There are so many great brands out there. As long as the pieces stay together and I am having a great time doing it.
Q. It appears on your Instagram account that you have done 'very many' puzzles - do you know how many puzzles you have done? Do you keep track?
I do keep track! I have a pretty detailed spreadsheet that I fill out each time I complete a puzzle. It then calculates how many puzzles I did each month, how many new brands I tried, piece counts and other statistics. In 2021 I completed 210 puzzles.
Q. How long does it take you to get as many followers as you have?
I've had my instagram for a little over 2 years, so about that long!
Q. What is the one most memorable puzzle or puzzle situation you experienced that is most outstanding to you?
One of my favorite puzzle moments are putting together wooden puzzles that have what I like to call whimwhams. These are pieces that come together to form a whimsy piece. I'm always in awe of the creators that make the cuts on those puzzles. Stumpcraft and Davici are two brands that frequently do this.
Something I'm really proud of is my competition ranking. I have competed in speed jigsaw puzzle contests for over 10 years with a team of 4, but this past year was the first time I had ever competed on my own. After numerous competitions I'm ranked #4 in the nation by the USA Jigsaw Puzzle Association and #1 in the nation by Speedpuzzling.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - With her self-published book and over 300 jigsaw puzzle reviews, Linda has established herself as a prominent social media marketing influencer and jigsaw puzzle-preneur. If you want to send Linda a quick message, visit her contact page here.
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