Judith Butcher Award

Page owner: Membership director

Sketch of SfEP honorary president Judith Butcher

The Judith Butcher Award (JBA) was set up in 2011. Named after our first honorary president, and with her kind permission, it is intended to identify members of the SfEP worthy of honour because they have:

  • 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.

The award aims to identify not only those who have made highly visible contributions to the SfEP and its membership, but also individuals who have made important but perhaps less obvious contributions. It replaces the awarding of honorary membership for individuals within the SfEP, which was discontinued in 2010.

The JBA was first presented at the Society's 2012 AGM.

Winners of the Judith Butcher Award

The JBA is presented to Kathleen Lyle in recognition of her longstanding and steadfast support for the Society and its aims, and with gratitude for her endless generosity in sharing her wisdom and knowledge with our members.

JBA citation for Kathleen Lyle

Kathleen Lyle, 2019 Judith Butcher Award winner

Kathleen Lyle has been a generous supporter of the SfEP and our members since the start. She has distinguished herself by attending every Society conference over the past 31 years. Crucially, she shares her wealth of knowledge and experience freely with members and others, especially via our online forums, even when the question has been asked many times before by those new to the profession! That's learning you don't get from textbooks or courses.

Louise Harnby, 2017 Judith Butcher Award winner

Members will know Louise Harnby's blog 'The Proofreader's Parlour' and 'her ongoing support of all proofreaders and editors, through her free provision of PDF stamps, the vast array of resources available freely on her website and also … her books'. These 'are the most visible of many efforts on behalf of members, as are her always thoughtful, thorough and polite posts on SfEP forums'. She sets 'a great example by showing us how best to market an editorial business'.

Anne Waddingham, 2016 Judith Butcher Award winner

Anne has been a member of the SfEP almost since its inception. With David MacDonald, she developed and ran the successful onscreen editing courses that helped many SfEP members get to grips with editing in a new medium. Her humour and patience encouraged many to adjust to an unfamiliar way of working. Anne has also delivered many workshops and talks at conferences, and regularly shared her knowledge through the column 'Word Wrinkles' in Editing Matters. Her work over the last 20 years has done much to shape the discipline of 'on-screen editing' as we now know it.

Rod Cuff, 2015 Judith Butcher Award winner

Rod has been a driving force within the SfEP ever since he joined in the mid-1990s: on the committee from 2001 to 2003, developing and maintaining the Society's website and its online Directory, and moderating SfEPLine, the precursor to the Society's forum. As well as these activities, Rod has been the official proofreader for Editing Matters and its predecessor CopyRight for the past 12 years. He has used his long experience of the SfEP by working voluntarily in and eventually heading the Membership Working Group and the Futures Group, leading the many hours of research, thinking and work that led to the new membership arrangements.

His energy seems boundless and his research is thorough. He is not afraid of challenging received ideas or of having his own ideas challenged; he enthusiastically explores new ones, and is dedicated to seeing a task through once he's taken it on. He's also a key member of the Linnets (the SfEP's informal choir), and flew the flag for editors on the TV quiz Only Connect.

Averill Buchanan, 2014 Judith Butcher Award winner

Averill Buchanan is described as ‘the driving force behind the Northern Ireland SfEP local group’, and was nominated for ‘organising training courses in Northern Ireland, encouraging local editors to attend these courses (and to join the SfEP) and using her social media profile to spread the word about the SfEP’. As well as running the Northern Ireland group, Averill set up and jointly ran the Society's Twitter account and later organised a team of Twitter volunteers. She also served as moderator on the SfEP forum.

Helen Stevens, 2013 Judith Butcher Award winner

Helen won the Award for significantly raising the national and international profile of the SfEP, and the work of editors and proofreaders in general, through her voluntary work on social media. While managing her team of volunteers with charm and understanding, she organises material to ensure good-quality posts and makes herself available at all hours to reply to comments and ensure that posts are appropriate.

Lesley Ward, 2012 Judith Butcher Award winner

Lesley Ward is perhaps best known as a tutor, and has often been the first member of the SfEP whom newcomers meet, through the training courses she runs. Her guiding hand has set them on their way with renewed confidence.