Calling Young Women of the British Publishing Industry!

ksw-webHave you heard about the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize? Yes? Have you been working in publishing for fewer than seven years? Yes? Do you think your achievements are deserving of an award which celebrates your creativity, professionalism and potential? No?

I thought so.

I’m not sure I can fully explain why, but despite knowing absolutely loads of brilliant women in publishing, I know only a handful of people who have applied for this award. One reason could be to do with the fact that applying involves submitting one’s self. Or to put it in British: bragging. Boasting, showing-off, blowing your own trumpet. Is there a positive word in the English language for it? ‘Being-proud-of-what-you’ve-achieved-and-saying-so’ is a bit of a mouthful. For the sake of brevity I shall call it ‘saying-so’. And when it comes to saying-so, I wonder if the potential applicants of this award are at a further disadvantage. Is it still the case that women in the work place are less likely to claim their achievements than their male colleagues?

I have to admit, when I found out applying for the award involved writing your own application, I almost didn’t apply. Not because I’m lazy, or don’t like writing. But because I didn’t know if I could write about what I’d done and make it sound good enough to justify entering. But I’m so glad I did. A colleague told me about the award the day before the closing date, and gave me enormous amounts of encouragement to apply. Up against a deadline, I was forced to set modesty aside and just write about my career. With the encouragement of my colleagues, I embarked on what turned out to be an incredibly positive, affirming and confidence-building exercise.

Being shortlisted for the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize was amazing – what a thrill to hear my name read out loud at the London Book Fair! How lovely to go with colleagues to the award ceremony at the Free Word Centre and meet so many publishing professionals. Women and men whose careers had inspired me to go into publishing, and whose accolades I respected so highly. It was a strange moment standing on stage with the two other shortlisters and the winner. These women’s careers sounded to me like careers to feel so proud of, and here I was next to them. Perhaps I also had a career to feel proud of.

So, have you heard about the KSW Prize? Yes. Have you been working in publishing for fewer than seven years? Yes? Good, then ignore the little voice in your head telling you that you’re not good enough, that others around you are better, that you are not deserving of the award. Surely you don’t think that you know better than the esteemed judges. Stop self-doubting and apply.

Posted on: January 21st, 2013
Posted in: Latest News

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