Awards ceremonies seem to have been the flavour of the month this November.
Over the last four weeks the various teams at Colman Getty have handled a fascinating range of quite diverse prizes. The 2011 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting - Britain's biggest award for new playwriting, sponsored by the Manchester-based property company, Bruntwood, in association with the Royal Exchange Theatre - was awarded earlier this month to Janice Okoh, a teacher, for her second full-length play, Three Birds.
The third Wellcome Trust Book Prize went to Alice LaPlante for her debut novel Turn of Mind, a tale of a family's secrets exposed by murder and a brilliant mind in terminal decline. This is the first time a work of fiction has won the £25,000 prize, which goes to the most outstanding work of fiction or non-fiction on the theme of health and medicine in any one year.
On a rather different note, the Guardian's Nick Davies won the 2011 Groucho Club Maverick Award, the prize which celebrates people who have broken the mould in their own particular field, for his undercover work in exposing the phone-hacking taking place at The News of the World. His win could not have been more topical, coming as it did on the first day of the Leveson Inquiry.
I had the pleasure of chairing the judging panel for the Groucho Club award and was also in the hot seat earlier in the month when I was invited, along with Cilla Snowball and Peninah Thomson, to address a group of 100 young women at the launch of Management Today's 'Inspiring Women' networking programme. Management Today has long been a client of ours and I admire the way it truly does deliver 'not just business as usual'. This was another timely event, taking place on the eve of the government's announcement of its own new women mentoring programme. Women and employment have been an issue for Colman Getty ever since I set up the company and then launched Opportunity 2000, the business-led campaign for greater representation of women at board level, two decades ago. It's good to feel that we may eventually be about to see progress on that front.
Two important history books have been published this month. First, Adrian Sykes's beautifully illustrated Made in Britain (Adelphi), the story of the 3,000 British men and women who have shaped the modern world and, second, The Right Kind of History (Palgrave Macmillan) by David Cannadine, Jenny Keating and Nicola Sheldon, the result of a two year research project that explores how history has been taught in English state schools since the early 1900s and which makes several recommendations for the future, not least that history should be a compulsory subject up to the age of sixteen.
Finally tense competition at the Colman Getty PEN quiz saw 'The Agile Agents' take pole position by just one point ahead of rival newspaper teams from The Times and The Daily Telegraph who tied in second place. Jim Naughtie made a brilliant Quizmaster, PEN raised approximately £18,500 - and we came in very respectably in the top ten! Job done.
That's all this month!