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The 2023 IPEd Student Prize has been awarded to Lauren Connell, a student in the Master of Writing & Publishing program at RMIT University.

Connell was awarded the prize for her essay, “Can Australia’s Trade Publishing Industry Go Green?” Her essay will be published in the coming weeks on the IPEd website.

The judges awarded an honourable mention to Elena Perse (Curtin University) for her editorial letter, assessment and reflection about an educational textbook.

The judges also shortlisted an additional three entries:

  • Catherine Davis (University of New England), “Industry Profile: University of Queensland Press”
  • Kathryn James (RMIT University), “Editing Excerpts for a Magazine Feature: Extract of ‘Shy’ by Sian Prior”
  • Amy Pringle (Macquarie University): “Digital Humanities and the Future of Editing”.

The Standing Committee on Awards and Prizes extends warm congratulations to Lauren, Elena and the other three shortlisted students.

About this year’s entries

This year, a set of outstanding entries was received for the IPEd student prize, all of which showed a sophisticated understanding of the profession and excellent application of editing skills.

In their report to IPEd, the judges wrote: “the quality of submissions was extremely high, thus giving the judges great confidence that the future of editing and publishing in Australia is in strong, capable hands”.

What the judges said about the winning entry

The judging panel was unanimous in selecting Lauren Connell’s essay for the 2023 IPEd Student Prize. In their report to IPEd, the judges wrote:

Connell’s essay draws on a combination of scholarly sources; industry presentations, reports and articles; and interviews with Australian publishing professionals. The essay builds on previous research about the publishing industry’s obstacles to sustainability – most notably, Angela Meyer’s 3-part report on ‘Sustainability and the Australian Book Industry’, which was published in Books+Publishing earlier this year. Connell admirably supplements this research with her findings about the unique challenges faced by small/independent publishers. While these publishers are hindered by their reliance on the intervention, support and leadership of government, industry bodies and larger/multinational publishers to spur large-scale progress within the industry, Connell makes a strong case for the value of small/independent publishers instituting pledges, following best-practice guidelines and implementing pre-existing models for sustainable publishing.

The judges especially admired Connell’s well-organised and well-expressed argument. The essay squarely balances its sources against Connell’s own words, and the inclusion of interviews is a resourceful touch. The judges had much praise for this essay, which will be of great interest to both scholars and publishing professionals. Connell makes a valuable contribution to our collective understanding of a timely and important topic, and her focus on possible solutions is very welcome.

This year’s judges

The 2023 IPEd Student Prize was judged by three IPEd members: Per Henningsgaard, Lauren Bevilacqua and Sonja Chandler.

The Standing Committee on Awards and Prizes extends special thanks to the judges for generously giving their time to assess the entries, particularly as judging was conducted over the Christmas and New Year period. Thanks to Per Henningsgaard for chairing the judging panel.

About the IPEd Student Prize

The IPEd Student Prize acknowledges excellent work by a student of editing. It is designed to enhance the profession of editing and support students’ work on issues relevant to the industry.

It is awarded annually for a piece of work submitted as part of a tertiary qualification in editing, publishing or another discipline with a focus on editing.

The prize is open to any tertiary-level student enrolled in an editing or publishing program at a New Zealand or Australian tertiary institution.

Entries for the 2024 Prize will open in September 2023. More information is available on the IPEd website.