PDMAG Gold Awards

2024 PDMAG Gold Award Contest


The Professional Doll Makers Art Guild (PDMAG) Gold Awards is an annual competition that recognizes and encourages our members to excel in the design and creation of Art Dolls. It is the Guild’s biggest and most prestigious award we give based on the high-quality standards of excellence in doll making set forth by our founder Jack Johnston. Photos of all the entries are reviewed by our panel of master artist Judges (no artist names are given to the judges), who evaluate each submission on overall emotional appeal, excellence in concept, quality of material and workmanship, head/facial anatomy, overall anatomy and overall mastery of technique. This is an opportunity for our members to showcase their talent by submitting entries. This contest has no Theme, it is a “Best dolls of the year” award.  There are categories reserved for professional and Advanced levels as well as Intermediate and Novice that we use for judging purposes.


Be sure to read all the rules before entering.


This is a “Best doll of the year” contest.

* Winners receive a gorgeous crystal award

* Awards Will be announced on the Guild YouTube channel

* Winners will be featured in a PDMAG awards video

* Winners will also be featured in special addition of International Doll Artists Magazine. In Dolls Mag and in Pretty toys mag

Only MEMBERS of The Professional Doll Makers Art Guild with their membership paid and in good standing can enter the contest.


• The doll itself must be completely original workmanship by the artist with the exception of purchased eyes, eyelashes and wigs.                                                                                                                                                                                                        All items used on the doll or in the display that are made by another artist other than the artist submitting must be included in the description, and that artist must be given credit in the description also.                                                                                    These items would include clothing, wigs, wings, accessories etc.

• No molds can be used in the creation of any OOAK art doll. LTD Edition Artists dolls
produced for you or by you from your original hand sculpted doll are allowed but must be sculpted completed by you.
• No entries will be accepted after the deadline date. The deadline date and time are USA Mountain time.

Dolls entered must have been created during the calendar years of January 1, 2023, through May 31, 2024, to qualify during the last 12 months between the last Gold contest and this one without having been entered in the previous Gold contest.


NOTE: Awards are based on a minimum of 3 contest entries per Skill level per Category. If that number of entries is not reached levels may be combined at the judge’s discretion. All Judges decisions are final. There is no specific theme for this contest. The categories are for judging purposes only. We want you to be as creative as you like without us limiting your creativity. Disclosure: The PDMAG Awards Contest is open to all members including the President, Vice President, administrators and other volunteers as our jurying is done by an impartial panel of judges and no names are given to the judges.

Categories and Awards:

There is no entry limit per Guild MEMBER.

**These categories are for Certified Masters, Professional and Advanced Level members. Each category will have 3 winners per level per category so 3 Master, 3 Professional, and 3 advanced (1st, 2nd and 3rd place). Unless otherwise noted for a total of 36 awards.

Disclosure – *There must be at least 3 entries per skill level per category to properly judge. (If 2 entries are received there will be 1 winner if 1 entry is received it will be moved to a similar category.) *

*Fantasy – All Mediums – (Fictional nonhuman, Fairies, Mermaids, Anthropomorphic/Animals, etc.)
*Character – All Mediums (any character that is a human figure or portrait doll)
Baby/Child/Mini Baby – All Mediums (Full sculpted or cloth body)
Artist Ltd Ed – (cast from your original sculpt – includes all doll types)

**These categories are for Intermediate and Novice members. Each category will have 3 winners per level per category (1st, 2nd and 3rd place). Unless otherwise noted for a total of 6 awards.

Intermediate – All intermediate members and all mediums in one category

Novice – All Novices members and all mediums in one category

Additional Awards

Presidents Choice Award and Vice Presidents Choice Award

Enter your best piece of the YEAR (January 1, 2023 – May 31, 2024)

NOTE: The Judges reserve the right to move an entry to a different level if they feel the artist is at a different level then they noted on their entry form. Last year’s entries were heavily saturated in certain levels, so we adjusted the level and categories accordingly. This may change if entries come in different.

Total 48 category awards, 1 President Choice award, and 1 Vice Presidents choice award for a total of 50 awards. (Please be advised if there is not enough entry’s not all 50 awards will be awarded)


New artists who have joined the guild via the Academy must enter at the Novice Level unless instructed otherwise.
Once an artist wins first place at the Novice level, they will be required to enter future challenges at the Intermediate Level. They may remain in the Intermediate Level until they feel comfortable moving on to the Advanced Level.

The contest entry fee is $49.99 for the first entry and $20.00 for each additional doll entered.
The entry fees go to help cover all contest related costs including the cost of awards and shipping. And advertising costs.  All winning dolls will be posted on the Guild’s website both on the awards page and in the banners on the home page, published in International Dolls Magazine, and featured in our annual YouTube Gold Awards video.

Note: International Artist in reference to Shipping. Winning International Artists may be asked to pay an additional $10 to $20 for shipping cost depending on destination.

* The Guild reserves the right to use the pictures and related artist information of all dolls entered for advertising for the benefit of the Guilds members. This is covered in the Artist release that comes with your membership applications and awards application.


Entries will be accepted through midnight May 31, 2024 (USA Mountain Standard Time)
• Submit your payment through PayPal by clicking the payment button at the bottom of this page. Payment must be made before submitting entry.

• Fill out the Entry form which will be emailed to you once your payment has been received.

• Submit five pictures of each entry to [email protected] . Submit one full picture of the doll (front view), one close up of the face, detail shot of hands, side or 3/4 view of doll and one work in progress picture if available. Please contact Sherrie Neilson. If you are submitting photos of a doll that is already sold and no WIP is available, please include that in the description if they are not available and we will evaluate on a case-by-case basis. Pictures must be clear/focused with good lighting. They must be at least 300 dpi. (for the winning entries to be published the photos must be good quality)
Please DO NOT add your name or any text to the photo. Please do not submit pictures in a collage. Each doll must be entered separately, this includes a separate email for each doll.

Please state a full but brief description of the doll including the name of your doll, size of doll, material used and any other pertinent information.

• The judges will be scoring 1 to 10 in each category, with 10 being the highest score.  The following are the areas that will be reviewed by the judges: Overall Craftsmanship, Head/Facial Anatomy, Overall Anatomy/Proportion, Clothing/Accessories, Painting Craftsmanship, Originality/Gesture/ Movement, Marketability/Emotional Appeal, Wigging/ Hairstyle, Mastering of Technique

• Winners will be announced live on the Professional Doll Makers Art Guild YouTube Chanel, the time and date of the announcement will be posted in the Facebook private group.

• Winners will have their awards shipped to them. If you have any questions, please contact: [email protected] or Sherrie Neilson via Facebook instant message.  This contest is sponsored by PDMAG and IDA magazine.