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.

It is expected that the award will be presented annually, but if insufficient or unsuitable nominations are received it will not be awarded.

Winners of the JBA are chosen by the JBA sub-committee from nominations it receives from SfEP members and Corporate Subscribers. The sub-committee consists initially of the individuals involved in the setting up of the award – a mix of existing honorary members (i.e. those appointed until 2010), long-standing members and newer members.

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

Winners of the Judith Butcher Award

Year Winner
2015 Rod Cuff
2014 Averill Buchanan
2013 Helen Stevens
2012 Lesley Ward

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.

JBA citation for Rod Cuff


  1. The call for nominations will go out each year in early March to members and Corporate Subscribers of the SfEP.
  2. The closing date will be the third Monday in April.
  3. Individual members of the SfEP are eligible to receive the JBA. Serving council members and existing honorary members are not eligible.
  4. Nominations (one or more) may be sent in only by SfEP members and Corporate Subscribers. No one may nominate themselves.
  5. Each nomination must include the name and membership number of the person submitting it, plus a short text (max. 150 words) explaining the nomination. Any nomination without supporting text will not be considered.
  6. Nominations will be received and considered by the JBA sub-committee. The sub-committee will evaluate the nominations received in the light of the supporting texts received and any further enquiries the sub-committee may make if required. Not all nominations received will be made public. A short-list of those being considered will be published during June.
  7. The winner will be decided by the subcommittee no later than the first Monday in July. (S)he will be informed and offered expenses to attend the AGM for the presentation of the award; or (s)he may nominate someone to collect it.
  8. If in any given year the sub-committee does not receive nominations deemed suitable, the award need not be made that year.
  9. Any persons listed in the short-list but not given the award will be ineligible for one year thereafter.
  10. The JBA sub-committee is made up of seven members, who will serve for a three-year term, renewable once. New members will be recruited from among existing honorary members and recipients of the JBA. The council must approve any new appointments to the sub-committee, and shall have the power to nominate members if the need arises.