Dominic Graham, overseeing his second Young Stationers’ Awards, said he wants to see the focus move away from journalism and publishing this year and see more entries from related trades including the printing industry.
Graham's call echoes similar statements made by Stationers’ Company industry committee chairman and event organiser Tony Mash last February concerning the 2017 Innovation Excellence Awards.
Graham said: “What my mission in approaching this is is broadening the range of kinds of traits that we recognise, that’s my obsession, trying to broaden it out and get the biggest range. When you look at the number of trades the company represents, everything from paper and pulp, manufacturing, printing through to things like creative writing and journalism, what I want to see is the nominations come from a broader spectrum.
“Journalists are prominent in these awards, they are used to applying for prizes, have a CV ready and they are used to writing about themselves, but in print, for example, how do you recognise and highlight those really innovative people? That is the challenge I set for myself and the prize as a whole.”
The fourth outing for the awards, which recognises the achievements of those below the age of 40 in a range of qualifying professions, will take place with a gala dinner in Stationers’ Hall, London, on 24 July, which is expected to be attended by around 70 to 100 guests.
A two-pronged approach is taken to the judging, with the professions of a panel of seven to eight judges deliberately designed to be matched to the nominations received. Judges rate the nominees in a variety of categories before those with the highest scores are sent through to the second round and a discussion takes place as to who should win from there. 15 were nominated last year, with this year’s figure expected to be similar.
Last year’s gong was scooped jointly by Ella Kahn and Bryony Woods, founders of the Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency. BPIF marketing director Amy Hutchinson was highly commended, along with BuzzFeed investigations editor Heidi Blake and freelance feature writer Daisy Buchanan.
Graham said: “Ella and Bryony were very clear winners in that they’ve done so much so early on in their careers. It was clear that they needed to be recognised. I’m looking forward to seeing more like that in this year’s awards.
Potential nominees can submit applications on behalf of themselves or others, with nominations closing on 22 June. The prize is open to members and non-members of the Worshipful Company of Stationers.