As mince pies fly off the shelves and last-minute present buying begins, I’d like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year. The last twelve months have been filled with hard-work, adventure and merriment. So, as we brace ourselves for a brand-new decade with endless possibilities, I’m looking back at some of the highlights of 2019.
Contentworks – the best bits
Running your own business is far from easy, but plenty of amazing things happened this year. We celebrated our second birthday. And there was cake! We were also media sponsors for a host of high-profile events including:
- The iFX Expo Limassol
- Reflect Festival
- Nakamoto’s Den
- Decentralized Athens
- The Innovation Forum
And look forward to kicking off 2020 with the Fintech 3.0 summit taking place in January.
The agency has taken on some really innovative content marketing projects and I’m excited to have been a part of them!
Women and Literature
- Margaret Atwood releases The Testament
Women in literature shined throughout 2019 with Margaret Atwood’s, The Testament, being one of my best reads of the year. As an angry, pacey sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, the novel is narrated by Aunt Lydia and answers a host of burning questions. But that’s all I’m going to say. If you’ve not read it yet, add it to your 2020 reading list. It’s awesome and became the fastest selling hardback novel in four years following its September 2019 release.
- Booker Prize breaks all the rules
In a historic, rule-defying judgment, the Booker Prize was awarded to join winners – Margaret Atwood for The Testament (told you it was good) and Bernardine Evaristo for Girl, Woman, Other, with Evaristo becoming the first black woman to receive the Booker Prize since its creation in 1969. Despite rules from 1993 stating only one winner could claim the prize, the judges found it impossible to choose, leaving the two female authors to split the £500,000 prize money.
Gaby Wood, the literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation said that the judges, “were not so much divided as unwilling to jettison any more when they finally got down to two and asked if they might split the prize between them. On being told that it was definitively against the rules, the judges held a further discussion and chose to flout them.
“They left the judging room happy and proud, their twin winners gesturing towards the six they would have wanted, had it been possible to split the prize any further.”
Other great female works of literature to have been published this year include:
- Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
- Twine by Monica Duncan
- After Kilimanjaro by Gayle Woodson
- Pretty Guilty Women by Gina LaManna
Room to Read Achievements
As a leading non-profit for children’s literacy and girls’ education programs, Room to Read is the Contentworks’ charity of choice. Empowering youngsters to take control of their futures, providing the relevant support, facilities and equipment, the dedication of this incredible team is inspiring.
Room to Read has achieved many great things with over 18.8 million children benefitting from Room to Read initiatives. There are 37,000 partner schools across Africa and Asia as well as 100,000 teachers trained every year. 1,500 children’s books have also been published in 35 local languages and 26 million books have been distributed across the globe.
Highlights from the year included:
- Charitable donations being matched 2 to 1 by Room to Read supporters IMC.
- The Book Club being in full swing and focusing on important topics such as women and tech.
- Fundraising initiatives with Damien Brosnan, Room to Read’s APAC Regional Board Member and Portfolio Manager of Maven Investment Partners Limited, recently competed in the Subaru IRONMAN 70.3 Canada triathlon, where he raised more than $15,000.
- Inspirational success stories including that of Siem Reap who became the first woman in her family to graduate secondary school and attend university. Read more here.
There have been powerful moments a plenty in 2019. But here are some I loved the most.
- A film about menstruation was awarded an Oscar. That’s right, Period. End of Sentence, directed and produced by Rayka Zehtabchi won the award for Best Documentary Short.
- Joy Harjo became the first Native American US poet laureate for her collection of poems entitled An American Sunrise
- ‘We play for a nation that doesn’t even know our names’: Germany’s Women’s World Cup advert smashes it out of the park. The video, made by the sponsor Commerzbank in partnership with the national team, features the squad and their manager, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, and addresses the abuse they have faced in the women’s game.
2019 has been great and I’ve had so much fun meeting you all and making new connections. If you’re not following me – please do @Charli_Says on Twitter or charli_says on Insta. For information on content marketing and advertising please contact me here.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and cheers to an amazing 2020!