Nominations are now being sought for this year’s Judith Butcher Award (JBA), but what’s it all about? OK – cards on the table: I was the proud recipient of the JBA in 2013 for my work on social media. Perhaps that means I’m slightly biased. But it also means that I can give you a very personal take on this annual celebration of exceptional contributions to the community that is the SfEP.
I was proud to have my efforts officially recognised, epecially as it meant that my name would appear in the same sentence as Judith Butcher’s!
I joined the SfEP in 1997, but it was only when I became a marketing and PR volunteer in 2009 that I really started to appreciate just how much valuable work goes on behind the scenes, and how much the Society’s volunteers contribute to the running of the organisation. When I became a director in 2010, I relied on the help of such individuals, particularly when our social media activities started to expand and we needed a team of people to keep the show running.
The fact that I’d seen how much work went on behind the SfEP scenes made me all the more pleased to have this official recognition.
Nominated by peers
One aspect of the award that makes it very special is that nominations come from one’s colleagues within the Society.
Although many of the people who are involved in running the SfEP do so out of sight of most of their fellow members, I’m sure we can all think of individuals who’ve contributed, perhaps on the forums, on a particular project, in our local group or in a more public sphere.
I can tell you that having one’s efforts noticed and appreciated by colleagues is a very lovely feeling indeed, and I’d encourage everyone to think hard to see if they can call to mind someone who’s impressed them and ought to be recognised.
In the past, not all members saw the value in the SfEP being involved in social media, so I was really pleased that my JBA was awarded ‘for significantly raising the national and international profile of the SfEP, and the work of editors and proofreaders in general’ through my voluntary work on social media.
I believe social media has played a significant role in promoting the SfEP, and it was heartening that the JBA recognised this.
When I was awarded the JBA, I felt that it was a reflection of the efforts of all those who had contributed behind the scenes to these activities. Although I couldn’t share the award with all those who had helped, it did make me appreciate their support, dedication and commitment. I really couldn’t have done it without them.
And now I have a confession to make: for many years I didn’t actually have my own copy of Butcher’s Copy-editing. I know, right? So when I won the JBA I decided to use the book token prize to buy myself a copy. It just seemed like the right thing to do (and it is an invaluable resource).
So please do get your thinking cap on and consider nominating someone who has:
- made a clearly identifiable and valuable difference to the way the SfEP is run, and/or
- carried through a specific project that has been of particular value to the SfEP and/or its members.
Helen Stevens has been a freelance proofreader, editor and copywriter for over 20 years, and now specialises in academic and non-fiction editing. She enjoys playing Scrabble and walking, though not at the same time. Saltaire Editorial Services
Posted by Tracey Roberts, SfEP blog coordinator
The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the SfEP