Winner of 2017 Purple Pen: Sergey Lobachev

Sergey Lobachev has won the 2017 Purple Pen Competition sponsored by the Institute of Certified Indexers.  His index will appear in the book The Magnificent Nahanni: The Struggle to Protect a Wild Place by Gordon and Shirley Nelson (published by the University of Regina Press).  The judges praised his index for its strong treatment of the book’s main topics which would especially aid a re-reader trying to find material.  Moreover, he provided useful conceptual analysis, for entries like “wilderness” that a word search would not catch; it takes intellectual analysis of the text to recognize these, and the index showed he had put real thought into compiling and structuring these entries.

Sergey said that this was his first project for the University of Regina Press whom he had solicited for work by sending a letter to the Press.  He found the book a challenge to index as it involved distinguishing among the Nahanni ecosystem, Nahanni National Park Reserve, Nahanni people, Nahanni River, and Nahanni Valley.  He also had to carefully input the diacritics which he did accurately and showed his attention to detail.

Sergey completed the University of California, Berkeley, course “Indexing: Theory and Application” in 2013, and shortly after had launched his indexing business.  A Board member of the Indexing Society of Canada/Société canadienne d’indexation, he lives in London, Ontario.  Prior to becoming an indexer, he worked in academic and public libraries, and he holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Western Ontario. He also retains a membership in the American Society for Indexing (ASI).

This is the fourth year that the contest has been held by ICI, and it is interesting to note what a strong showing the Canadian indexers have made in the contest, winning three out of four years! The competition was stiff for the winner, with several people entering again and using prior feedback from earlier years’ entries to improve their work.  The judges noted especially that the newbies were doing a better job in handling the metatopic in their work.  All entrants receive a detailed feedback scoresheet.

The judging is done anonymously by three members of the Institute of Certified Indexers (ICI).  The winner receives a check for $100 as well as the publicity of appearing on the ICI website: www.certifiedindexers.com and notification of the book’s publisher and authors.  This honor also helps the new indexer in terms of building confidence and gaining career satisfaction.

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