See Also—June 2019

Thank you to Ælfwine Mischler for three years serving as the editor of See Also! With the June issue, we welcome our new editor, Roseann Biederman. This is her first issue of See Also.

ASI Grants Excellence in Indexing Award to Sheila Ryan
Upcoming Chapter Events
Pacific Northwest Chapter
Recent Chapter Events
Golden Gate Chapter
Heartland Chapter
Indexing Scholarships
Work Smarter: Ergonomic Indexing

ASI Grants Excellence in Indexing Award to Sheila Ryan

ASI’s 2019 Excellence in Indexing Award committee is pleased to announce that Sheila Ryan is the winner of the 2019 award for her index to Churchill Documents, Vol. 21. Weighing in at over 2,000 pages, that book is part of a multivolume set by Martin Gilbert that includes eight biographical volumes as well as twenty previous volumes devoted to diaries, reflections, memoirs, and letters relating to Winston Churchill. The current volume covers the period of January through July, 1945.

Sheila noted that she worked on the winning index over a period of three and a half months, during which she also had five or six overlapping projects. She had previously indexed volumes 18, 19, and 20, is completing volume 22, and will soon start on volume 23, which is the final documents volume.

The winning volume is published by the Churchill Project of Hillsdale College, which is the publisher of Churchill’s official biography, as well as the Martin Gilbert papers. Gilbert worked as the official Churchill biographer for nearly 50 years. Hillsdale, an independent liberal arts institution, was founded in 1844. The publisher found Sheila, she said, via Google search.

The Excellence in Indexing Award was presented on April 26 at the ASI annual conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Upcoming Chapter Events

Pacific Northwest Chapter Fall Meeting

Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019
SpringHill Marriott Suites, 1421 SE Tech Center Drive
Vancouver, WA 98683

Friday evening session will feature Q&A time for newish indexers with Scott Smiley. Saturday session features a full day of learning and networking. Topics include:

  • Technical Indexes with a Structured Approach with Angela Howard
  • Embedding Index Tags in XML Files with Angela Howard
  • Client Relationships with Scott Smiley, Carolyn Weaver, and Madge Walls
  • Bidding and Rates with Scott Smiley, Madge Walls, and Maria Sosnowski
  • Index Comparison activity with indexes by two highly experienced indexers

Both days conclude with dinner at a local restaurant.

Visit the Pacific Northwest Chapter website for more information and to download the registration packet.

Sherry Smith Award for New Indexers

The Sherry Smith Award of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the American Society for Indexing will grant $100 to help one new indexer (currently enrolled in an indexing course or in their first year after completion) per year attend a PNW fall conference. Applications must be received no later than one month before the fall conference. Apply by email to the membership coordinator, indicating your name, location, course/teacher, completion date if applicable, and contact information.

Did you know?
Roman author and naturalist Pliny the Elder included an index in his Natural History, published circa AD 77-79. This early encyclopedia, which Pliny claimed to have covered everything known to the ancient world, became an important editorial model for encyclopedias published over the centuries.
(From Donald B. Cleveland and Ana D. Cleveland, Introduction to Indexing and Abstracting, 4th ed.)

Recent Chapter Events

Golden Gate Chapter Book Fair Outreach

Building on the success of the Arizona indexers’ recent marketing efforts (see the April 2018 issue of this newsletter), members of the Golden Gate Chapter attracted the attention of attendees of the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley on May 4–5, 2019 via t-shirts. Taking their cue from Nan Badgett, Cindy Coan, Amron Gravett, and Ina Gravitz, who walked around the Tucson Festival of Books wearing t-shirts that advertised indexing, Susan Storch and Theresa Duran decided to try the same thing.

Equipped with bright blue shirts that said, “Ask me about professional indexing,” along with a supply of freebies—bookmarks promoting the ASI Indexer Locator and Jobs Hotline—Susan and Theresa began the day by attending an indoor panel discussion on memoir writing. Several nonfiction authors and publishers were happy to receive information about how to locate indexers for upcoming projects.

The Golden Gate Chapter will try to make a return appearance at the 2020 Bay Area Book Festival, hopefully with a larger contingent of indexers.

Heartland Chapter Spring 2019 Meeting

L to R: Andrea Kappler, Devon Thomas, Meridith Murray, Cheryl Lenser, Margaret Hentz, Morgan Blue, Charlotte Hendrix, Marilyn Augst, Carol Reed (pictured with a series of books Marilyn has been indexing for Purdue University Press). Not pictured: Karen A'Llerio, Larry Sweazy

The Heartland Chapter met on Saturday, May 18 at the Old Richmond Inn in Richmond, Indiana; in attendance were six regular members and four new indexers. Attendees enjoyed catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Our featured speaker was author and indexer Larry Sweazy, who shared his approach to time management. His system obviously works well for him, as he averages two novels and forty to fifty indexes per year!

Larry stressed the importance of knowing how many pages we can index in an hour. Once we have this information, it is easier to negotiate a fee by asking ourselves, “What is MY time worth?” As freelancers, we should also be disciplined about our income, accounting for taxes, healthcare, expenses, and insurance. And, of course, we need to manage chaos, since nobody likes surprises!

Heartlanders also had a lively question-and-answer session and some good discussions over a delicious lunch. Larry talked about his Marjorie Trumaine books, “cozy” mysteries featuring an indexer sleuth. (The first one is See Also Murder…if you haven’t read it yet, you need to get started!) One of our newbie indexers got interested in indexing by reading Larry’s books!
Our thanks to Larry for a great meeting, and for putting indexing and indexers on the popular culture map.

Indexing Scholarships


ASI Member is Scholarship Winner

Winners of the DReam to Index scholarship for 2019 are Ælfwine Mischler (member of ASI) and Siusan Moffat (member of ISC). The award is given in memory of Dave Ream and was established by the friends of Dave Ream to offer financial assistance for a new indexer to register for an indexing conference. Both Siusan and AElfwine attended the Ottawa Conference of the Indexing Society of Canada (ISC), held May 24-25. More information about the scholarship is here.

2019 Purple Pen Competition

The Institute of Certified Indexers has opened the application period for its 2019 competition for best new indexer, The Purple Pen Award. The award is open to new indexers who completed an indexing course in the last five years (January 1, 2014 to January 1, 2019) and submit an index done for payment (not a practice or pro bono index). Each entrant will receive a detailed feedback report compiled from the comments of three ICI-member judges. Deadline for submissions is July 31, 2019, and application must be accompanied by a fee.

Work Smarter

Check it Out: Ergonomic Indexing

For indexers who prefer not to stay seated, standing desks provide an invigorating alternative. These tall workstations, which require the user to stand while working, encourage movement and can help to allay some of the negative effects of a sedentary occupation. Countless varieties are available to suit a range of work styles and budgets—from simple tables to multi-level adjustable risers and dual workstations.

Check out some of the offerings at,, and


Our Spotlight this month is Sheila Ryan, 2019 winner of the ASI Excellence in Indexing Award. If you would like to be in the Spotlight, or nominate someone, contact the editor, Roseann Biederman.

Where do you live now? Where are you originally from? Do you share your home with pets or family?
I live in Portland, Oregon, with my husband Demian Ebert. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

What is your educational background?
I hold a Bachelor of Science from Humboldt State University and a Master of Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
My indexing training included the USDA indexing correspondence course and the UC-Berkeley online indexing course.

Do you have any hobbies, travels, volunteer work, or other interesting things to share?
I volunteer as an adult literacy tutor at Portland Community College. During time off from work, I enjoy camping, hiking, and fly fishing.

What kind of work did you do before you studied indexing? Are you still doing that or other work in addition to indexing?
Before starting my indexing career, I previously worked at a marine lab, at an environmental consulting firm, and as an enforcement officer for the California Coastal Commission.

When did you start indexing? When did you join ASI?
I joined ASI in 2004 and started working full-time as an indexer in 2007.

For you, what is the best advantage of ASI membership?
Opportunities to network with indexing colleagues at chapter and national meetings.

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