Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Outstanding Achievement

One of my students, Penny Legg, is tackling the course from the beautiful island of Anguilla, and one of her challenges has been finding markets. There's clearly no WHSmiths, Borders, or Tescos store there with a huge array of publications to choose from. Which has meant that Penny has had to be creative in her markets - a step that has led to a recent award for the recognition of her work.

This is a picture of Penny receiving an 'Outstanding Achievement Award' from the President of the Anguillan Chamber of Commerce for all the hard work she has put in producing their regular newsletter.
Now a Chamber of Commerce newsletter is not a 'traditional' market for many writers, but I think it's a clear reminder of a very basic fact - every word you read has to be written by somebody. So if that's the case, why shouldn't it be you?
Effectively, Penny is the writer, photographer and editor of the newsletter, (does she reject herself at times, I wonder?) which are all great opportunities in helping her to hone her skills. And despite being based on a tiny island, she's also achieved many other successes.
One of which is a regular column with the local paper - The Anguillian. Penny's column "Thoughts of an Expat Living on Anguilla" have covered a variety of topics, ranging from Robert Burns, her 25th Wedding Anniversary, through to going on a First Aid course.
She's also written numerous articles for "Island Where" magazine and "Anguillan Life", which has meant interviewing some colourful characters along the way.
I know that Penny wants to explore bigger and better paying markets when she returns to England later this year, but I think her achievements to date demonstrate that success can come in a variety of formats and not necessarily the ones that you expect. As I often say to students, the joy of writing is that you never know where it will take you. Sometimes I think it does us all good to go back to that very first assignment, the one where you have to write about why you want to be a writer, and then look at what you have achieved.
Well done Penny!