ICI Announces Winner of 2016 New Indexer Contest

The Institute of Certified Indexers has completed its third annual competition for new indexers, The Purple Pen Award.  The winner for 2016 is Sam Arnold-Boyd


Purple Pen Award

[Managing ICI Founder Enid Zafran (r.) presents Sam (l.) with her Purple Pen 2016 Award]

Sam, who operates Cascade Indexing in the Pacific Northwest, is a former teacher and school librarian. She completed the University of California Berkeley's online extension course in indexing as a student of Fred Leise, and also completed Kari Kells' tutorials on indexing.


She won the 2016 Purple Pen Competition with her index for A Thousand Cuts: The Bizarre Underground World of Collectors and Dealers Who Saved the Movies by Dennis Bartok and Jeff Joseph, published by the University Press of Mississippi.


ICI reported strong interest in this new indexer competition which is open internationally to indexers who have completed a training course in the past five years and submit an index done for payment (in other words, not a practice index or pro bono job). Each entrant received a detailed feedback report compiled from the feedback of three ICI-member judges. 


Once again contestants have commented their impetus to enter is to get the comments and guidance the panel of experienced and well respected judges share. The contest gives entrants the unique opportunity to learn on a project they have done personally and see specific ways how to improve the index.


The standards for the anonymous judging come from the ICI  Best Practices (PDF).  


Previous winners of the contest include Stephen Ullstrom (2014) and Frances Curry (2015).

Why Use an ICI-Certified Indexer?

ICI-Certified Indexers have:

  • had their work and experience reviewed by an independent body (ICI)
  • completed and successfully passed a rigorous examination (preparation of a test index on a complex 250- to 300-page text)
  • demonstrated knowledge of and adherence to indexing best practices (PDF).


ICI-Certified Indexers are committed to continuing education and must be recertified every three years.


While certification is not a guarantee that every ICI-Certified Indexer will produce an exemplary index in every circumstance, ICI-Certified Indexers are individuals who are devoted to quality in indexing and strive to meet and exceed client needs at every opportunity.


By using ICI-Certified Indexers, editors, authors, and publishers help ensure that the indexes produced for them will be of the highest possible quality.


Find an ICI-Certified Indexer to meet your needs.

Benefits of Certification

  • Certification attests to the achievement of special knowledge beyond basic indexing techniques.
  • The process of achieving and maintaining certification ensures that indexers continue to hone their indexing capabilities throughout their careers.
  • ICI-Certified Indexers stand out when publishers and authors are looking for indexing services; certification validates and provides assurance to clients.
  • ICI-Certified Indexers are distinguished through the exclusive use of the "ICI-Certified Indexer" appellation. Only individuals who have successfully completed ICI's certification exam may use that identifier.
  • ICI-Certified Indexers are listed on the ICI website, which is used by publishers to find appropriate ICI-Certified Indexers.


Learn how you can become an ICI-Certified Indexer.