Winner of 2022 Purple Pen Contest for New Indexers

The Institute of Certified Indexers (ICI) is pleased to announce that Jessica Hinds-Bond has won the 2022 Purple Pen Award for New Indexers.  Jessica submitted her index to the book Discovering Mars: A History of Observation and Exploration of the Red Planet by William Sheehan and Jim Bell (published by the University of Arizona Press)

Based out of Chicago, Illinois, Jessica works primarily on scholarly texts in the humanities. She completed her training in indexing through the University of California Berkeley Extension under the instruction of Fred Leise. She holds a PhD in theater and drama from Northwestern University, an MA in theater from Villanova University, and a BFA in theater design and technology from Auburn University. She also holds a certificate in editing from the University of Chicago Graham School. After completing a graduate assistantship at Northwestern University Press, she decided to pursue a career in editing and indexing.  She is a member of the American Society for Indexing.

She reports that the winning index presented an exciting challenge for her as a new indexer as the authors continued to update the text for NASA’s Perseverance mission as she was in the process of indexing!  When one of the book’s authors learned of her contest win, he wrote back effusively to say that “indexers rarely get the recognition they deserve.”  And in particular, about working with Jessica, he said, “her intelligence, care, and diligence produced an outstanding index.”  He admired her courteous, professional demeanor throughout the process and appreciated her pointing out weak points in the text where correction or clarification was needed. Separately the editor at the University of Arizona Press emailed in response to hearing of Jessica’s accomplishment that “the contest is a wonderful way to elevate the essential work that indexers do.  In other words, Jessica’s win showed the value a professional indexer brings to her job and highlighted yet again the importance of a good index.

The submissions in the contest are reviewed anonymously by a panel of three judges.  Each indexer receives detailed feedback on the index with examples of areas in which to improve. Entrants who compete come from the UK, US, and Canada, and have completed indexing training in the previous five years. 

In addition to a cash award of $100 USD, the winner participates in a Zoom session with the judges to get individualized guidance on indexing techniques and business tips. 

Next year will be the tenth year of ICI conducting this contest.  Watch for announcements in early summer 2023 from the major indexing societies and on the ICI website:

Chitra Karunanayake Becomes Latest Certified Indexer

The Institute of Certified Indexers is pleased to welcome Chitra Karunanayake to its ranks. Chitra currently works as the Library Manager of Geoff Marel Library, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Sydney, Australia. She is a part-time indexer and a member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers (ANZSI).


Find a more complete biography here.

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.


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