Exciting news! I have been shortlisted for the Garden Media Guild’s Beth Chatto Environmental Journalist of the Year award. So, I’ll be scrubbing under my fingernails and donning some finery to attend the Savoy in November for the award ceremony. This year will be hosted by the fabulous Manoj Malde and attended by all the great and the good of the gardening media world!
I am so thrilled to be a finalist for Environmental Journalist of the Year – and for the second year in a row, no less! I have come a long way since studying Ecology at University and developing a love of gardening. My journey into environmental journalism and garden writing has been somewhat winding but lots of fun. The work I have been shortlisted for this year was an article I wrote about creating balance in the garden. It was titled “A Question of Balance”. Last year, the piece that got me the prestigious finalist spot was called “The Trouble with Monocultures”.
The Award is named for one of the most influential natural gardeners in History; Beth Chatto, and it is a privilege to honour her work with this award.
Last year, my wonderful colleague and friend Kim Stoddart won the award, and I couldn’t have been happier for her. This year, another of my close friends and colleagues, Stephanie Hafferty, is nominated for the same award as me. Here are the finalists:
Becky Searle (that’s me!)
A formidable group indeed. I still find it very strange to see my name amongst such well-known and well-renowned people. It’s a great confidence boost.
What are the GMG Awards?
The GMG (Garden Media Guild) Awards are held each year in November in the ballroom at the Savoy Hotel in London. There is a champagne reception. By the time we get into the ballroom, one or two of us are a little tipsy, and there is a lot of clamour and excitement! Then, once we are seated, the incredible waiting staff present us with our meal, which soaks up the champagne.
Then, it’s time for the awards. It’s quite an emotional time, particularly regarding the Lifetime Achievement award. In the gardening world, the GMG awards are a big deal. They’re a very prestigious set of awards designed to honour and celebrate us writers, photographers, bloggers, vloggers, podcasters and broadcasters for our hard work. And they help to ensure that the standards of our work keep getting higher and higher.
There are numerous categories of awards. These include Journalist of the Year, Photographer of the Year and Social Media Influencer of the Year – to name a few! The GMG website has a full list of all those shortlisted for each award.
As with most things in gardening, the awards are a very jovial and friendly occasion. The horticultural profession is very friendly, kind and supportive. And, of course, since we know most other attendants quite well, it’s always fun getting the chance to spend some time together. And see who gets to go home with an award!
Garden writing is a difficult thing to get into. For me, I started writing about my own garden on my Instagram channel, and it took off from there. I got my first writing job for Kitchen Garden Magazine and, since then, have become a regular feature writer for them. I now write for numerous magazines and blogs and am available for guest blogs and for regular writing if needed. Please get in touch if you’re interested in working with me.