Local Author Wins International and National Awards

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Last spring, Local author Virginia McGowan PhD’s book Harness the Power of Mentoring: How to Find and Work with the Right Mentor—A Guide for the Solopreneur (April 2019) was awarded Finalist status in the 2019 International Book Awards. Then, in early fall, Virginia was notified that she was among the WISE 2019 50 Over 50 Award winners, an award established to celebrate senior-preneurs, entrepreneurs who started their businesses when they were 50 or older.

In November 2019, Virginia received word that her book had been awarded Finalist status in the 2019 Best Book Awards (Business: Entrepreneurship and Small Business category). Jeffrey Keen, President and CEO of American Book Fest said this year’s contest yielded 400 winners and finalists in more than 90 categories from a field of over 2,000 entries of titles published between 2017 and 2019.

Winners and finalists emerged from across the book-publishing landscape and included entrants from publishing houses such as HarperCollins, Penguin/Random House, Simon and Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New World Library, Rowan & Littlefield, and hundreds of independent publishing houses. Jeffrey noted that the distinguished panel of judges brought their extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise to the table.

“Readers comment on my book’s authentic voice,” said Virginia. “I based it on what I learned as the architect of a highly-successful business mentoring program for PEI women entrepreneurs and the hundreds of conversations I had at that time with people in business by themselves—the solopreneurs.”

As a PhD in anthropology, Virginia brought a unique set of skills to that project, including a trained ability to listen for the real, underlying story that solopreneurs were telling. “I heard fear, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy,” she said. “No resources existed that spoke to the solopreneur’s unique experiences, their goals and aspirations, and their business practices that differ from those of other kinds of entrepreneurs. This book fills that gap.”

The next book in The Business Mentoring Solution series is for those who wish to mentor solopreneurs and will be published later in 2020. Meanwhile, Virginia is busy with local, national, and international presentations and workshops and is designing an online course based on her book.