(Revised September 26, 2017)

In keeping with Jim's pioneering spirit and International standing in the gourd world, the Jim Story Award committee has expanded the manipulated gourd competition to include non-AGS-chartered organizations worldwide.  We believe this expansion will help increase participation in the Jim Story Award (JSA) and membership in the American Gourd Society (AGS).

This expansion is effective immediately and by complying with the following rules, organizations within the USA may participate in the 2016 competition. Organizations outside the USA may enter the competition effective January 1, 2017.

Note: You MUST be a member of the American Gourd Society to enter the AGS National competition.

1. To be eligible for the national competition, entrant must win either a state chapter competition or a competition held by a non-AGS-chartered organization. Entrant may enter multiple competitions if desired, but only one winner will be eligible for the national competition.

2. Non-AGS-chartered organizations within the USA must donate $25 to the JSA fund to help support the award. Organizations outside the USA must donate $50 to the JSA fund to help support the award. Donations may be submitted with the completed application.

3. Currently, the entry must be a single dried manipulated gourd. That may change in the future when enough funds become available to sponsor a multiple gourd category.

4. No added finish is allowed to be applied to the surface of the gourd, not even a clear coat or hardener. If etching is used, it must be done while the gourd is green and living. Carving into the surface after the gourd has dried is not permitted.

5. Green cleaned (outer skin removed before the gourd has dried) entries may score up to five additional points during the judging process. Note: Green cleaning carries a risk of the gourd drying too fast. This may result in shrinking, cracking and possible disintegration of the gourd. So be careful if you decide to use this process.

6. All entrants must complete the Jim Story Award application and questionnaire. While no judging points have been assigned as to the completeness of the questionnaire, please provide the requested information. Unless otherwise specified, information contained on the questionnaire may be used as a teaching tool at the chapter level, on the AGS website and as tutorials. Jim Story was all about education and sharing of information and we wish to honor those characteristics and pay it forward.

7. Photos of your gourds during the growth and manipulation process will help the national judges understand the time and effort you put into your entry and will be a valuable teaching aid for others.

8. Two photos are required from the local competition: one photo of the entrant with the winning gourd and another photo of the winning gourd with the ribbon or trophy (if awarded). Note: All pictures should be of sufficient quality for reprinting in The Gourd Magazine.

9. To be eligible to enter the AGS Jim Story Award competition at the national level, any hand trained (manipulated) dried gourd (a single gourd only, no multiple, inseparable gourds) must be grown by the applicant and must first win a local manipulated gourd competition for the CURRENT year. This includes any manipulated gourd grown by the applicant since January 1, 2009 that has not previously won a state manipulated gourd competition.The current deadline for submitting applications for the national competition is November 30

10. Criteria: Jim Story challenged everyone to push the envelope. While any method of gourd manipulation will be eligible to compete, we are looking for innovation, new ideas and new techniques. For additional information on our judging criteria, check Judging Dry Manipulated Gourds on the Jim Story page of the AGS web site.

11. Beginning with the 2014 competition, the winners will receive: 1st Place--A $300 cash award and a trophy; 2nd Place--A $150 cash award and a certificate; 3rd Place--A $50 cash award and a certificate. Other entries will receive participation certificates.

12. Unless otherwise specified, by signing the application the entrant agrees to allow his/her information to be published in The Gourd Magazine and other AGS sponsored publications and electronic media.

For the gourd-growing members of the AGS, its state chapters and other organizations worldwide, the committee members of the Jim Story Award are excited to offer you this opportunity to participate in the Jim Story Award and carry on his work.

NOTE:  In selecting a winner, the JSA national judges use the AGS NATIONAL GUIDELINES FOR JUDGING DRY MANIPULATED GOURDS.  Those guidelines, along with the JSA Rules and Application, are available on the Jim Story Award Page of the American Gourd Society web site