Women in Geospatial+ writing webinar and competition 2021


A couple of months back, Rohini Swaminathan, a fellow member of the Women in Geospatial+ steering committee, introduced me to Anusuya Datta. We were talking about the WiG+ internal Newsletter and how to get more women into professional writing and an idea to organise a webinar and a writing competition was born. The goal was simple; we wanted to give women+ the tools and a starting point to begin writing articles, which could help them establish a professional presence in the geospatial community. I have never organised an event like this before, but I was excited to enable our members (and other women+ in the geospatial industry) to find their own voice and encourage them to take up writing, be it in form of blogging, articles or technical writing.


On September 8th 2021, Women in Geospatial+ held a webinar on Geospatial Writing. This was part of our ongoing webinar series on career development. We had three writers on the panel – Jasmine Fleming, Rhian French and Gavin Schrock. We talked about various topics revolving around writing in general, as well as writing for the geospatial industry specifically. Here’s the webinar recording if you’re interested!


During the webinar, we also announced the start of the Women in Geospatial+ writing competition, which we have organised together with GoGeomatics and Geoawesomeness. Participants could choose one of two topics to write an article about: “Geospatial for good” or a case study.

Women in Geospatial+ competition winner: Helen Mazalon

The winner was chosen at the end of October by the judges – five professional writers – Anusuya Datta, Jasmine Fleming, Rhian French, Gaving Schrock of GoGeomatics and Muthukumar Kumar of Geoawesomeness. In the end, since all the entries were of such high standard, we have decided to publish all of the contest entries and not just the winning one. The aim is to give the new writers a space to shine and the opportunity to get their work to the wider audience.

These are the articles that were submitted as part of the competition:

The Winner

The winning piece of the Women in Geospatial+ writing competition has been written by Helen Mazalon.  Here’s what one of the judges, Rhian French, said about the winning entry:

First person narrative worked well – I liked that she expressed her own views, particularly in the last paragraph, and wrote in a personable, easy-to-understand style. First hand experiences were described well and helped reader visualise the situations. Helen took a current international news topic and related it to wider global issues on sustainability. References were well-used and placed. I felt the article was the beginning of something you might read in National Geographic!

Women in Geospatial+

This was my first time organising an event like this and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I got to meet interesting people from the geospatial industry and we got to talk about a really interesting topic. At the same time, we have also provided the others with useful pointers to kick off their writing careers. It would have been hard to come by an opportunity like this had I not been a member of the Women in Geospatial+ network.

If you’re interested in learning more about Women in Geospatial+, have a look at our website www.womeningeospatial.org. Don’t forget to sign up if you’d like to be part of our community too!


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