After an action packed 2 day copywriting conference, the moment had come. The award ceremony. I was a finalist for 2 awards – Content Writer of the Year and Copywriter of the Year.

I have to admit, I wasn’t all that hopeful of winning an award. The level of competition was intense – the other finalists in the two categories (Clare Hastings, Justine Northcott, Kirsty Russell, Sarah-Joy Pierce and Leanne Summers) are extremely experienced and successful writers. They’ve all worked hard in their businesses and I knew that any of them were deserving winners.

Secondly, this has sort of happened before. Ok the circumstances were a little different – when I was 11 and 12, I entered a competition called The Miss Junior NSW Quest. It wasn’t like one of those American Toddlers and Tiaras pageants with fake teeth and poofy dresses. It was established by the Epilepsy Association as an awareness and fundraising campaign. Our goal was to raise money and to take part in a day of activities where we were apparently judged on personality and poise.

For two years in a row, I sold raffle tickets, asked for sponsorship from local businesses, attended car rallies, took part in bake sales and did what I could to raise money.

For two years in a row, I was selected as a finalist where I went up on stage to have another round of live interviews.

And for two years in a row, I came second. Yes it happened twice. No no trophy, no winner’s sash, no tiara (that’s the real tragedy!) 😭.

So when I was selected as a finalist for two sections at the Clever Copywriting School, I wondered if it would happen again?! Would I continue my run of being the bridesmaid and not the bride?

The other awards were announced first. Best New Business Award went to Nicole Sergi, Proofreader of the Year was Tanja Gardner and Mary Cameron (aka the Wrinkly Writer – love her business name!) took Editor of the Year. Zoe Simmons won the disability and inclusion champion which was very exciting as I’ve been following her on LinkedIn for some time and have seen how her career has developed over the last few years. Cathy Camera won Member of the Year, completely deserved as she’s so generous with her advice and time.

I was so excited for Clare Hastings to win Content Writer of the Year. She and I both studied Journalism at CSU Bathurst and have lots of mutual friends in common. She has an amazing business and I’ve learnt a lot from her, particularly about writing white papers.

Copywriter of the Year announcement

Then they announced Copywriter of the Year…. Me! I was actually so surprised that I literally had to check my name was on the trophy when I got up on stage. I seriously wondered if I misheard!

This is the official reason I was chosen:

Caitlin stood out for her business smarts in growing her business – getting clear on their niche, building a strong client network, and working with clients who are aligned with her values. She’s learned she can’t do everything on her own – has practiced asking for help and has set clear boundaries. But she’s also built a great reputation as an amazing writer, bringing years of journalistic experience to her copywriting.

I have to admit that as a sole trader, I often wonder whether I’m making the right decisions in my business and my work. To be chosen by the Clever Copywriting School as Copywriter of the Year 2022 is an amazing feeling.

As part of my award, I won a beautiful trophy (straight to the pool room!), an annual subscription to Hnry and a year of membership to The Clever Copywriting School – a membership for copywriters with courses, resources, training, a jobs board and a collaborative community.

I have to say I’m still in shock! Check out my shocked face in the picture below! Not only am I incredibly honoured but it inspires me to continue to do great work for my clients and be the best freelance copywriter I can be.

Thanks to Kate Toon and team for all their work organising the awards. Freelancers like myself don’t have many opportunities to be rewarded for our hard work. I hope these awards will inspire lots of other freelance copywriters, editors, content writers and more to enter next year.

Thanks also to the Clever Copywriting School and Melinda Hird for the photographs.

Caitlin Wright Copywriter of the Year

My shocked face. Right after this I checked the trophy to make sure it was my name!