Congratulations to the Latest Winner of AWAI’s White Paper Spec Challenge, Awarded $5,000

Gordon Graham is here to announce the name of our $5,000 White Paper Spec Challenge Winner from our recent Certification training program.

Our latest champion is Jennifer Koppelman. Congratulations, Jennifer!

As part of our White Paper Mastery & Certification program, participants are eligible for this grand prize if their white paper is selected as the top submission.

Participants in the live six-week program learned all the steps to complete a white paper: planning, research, writing, polishing, and handling comments from reviewers.

Then they put their new skills to work finishing a half-completed white paper.

Participants were challenged to write the title, executive summary, conclusions, and call-to-action for a real white paper, as well as researching and writing one whole section from scratch.

As a further challenge, participants sought to match the conversational voice and use the Big Idea of the original paper aimed at a marketing person in a small B2B firm.

Plus, they wrote a test to demonstrate their understanding of the material and earn their AWAI Verified™ White Paper Specialist Certification.

A Big Challenge to Narrow the Field

This program was taught by Gordon Graham, also known as That White Paper Guy, an expert in this type of long-form content who has written more than 300 white papers for B2B clients all over the world.

With 72 projects to evaluate, Gordon said it was took time to narrow the field down to just one.

“I think everyone who submits a project is a big winner,” he said. “Completing a white paper is a weighty assignment.

“But Jennifer really did everything right with hers,” said Gordon, noting that her paper scored 98% on the program’s marking rubric.

“Her white paper has empathy, strong analysis, a clean and uncluttered table, and nice transitions between sections. Most of all, she completely matched the original voice and used the governing metaphor tastefully.”

And now, here’s a short video of our winner learning that her paper won the Spec Challenge.

👏 Jennifer Koppelman 👏

Watch Video

Jennifer’s crowning achievement was matching the chatty, informal voice of the original white paper aimed at a Millennial marketing person, along with the Big Idea that compared doing a white paper to going on an arduous hike.

“I will confess, matching that voice was the hardest part for me,” said Jennifer. “This was probably my third iteration of the project. The first one was way too formal. In the second one, I felt like I went overboard. I just threw in all sorts of hiking words.

“And finally, I had a light bulb moment when I decided to put in a table. That took care of most of the issues I was worried about,” she said. “So I’m really pleased you liked my final version so much.”

“This is my first writing in about 10 years …”

Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Science from Arizona State and then completed law school, but never practiced. Instead, she went into the U.S. Army and became a signals intelligence analyst, deployed to Bosnia and Afghanistan during her seven-year stint.

Then she worked for a military consulting firm, where she wrote a rather formal white paper for a government audience. Since then, she has worked in a bookstore.

“This is probably the first writing I’ve done in about 10 years,” she said, “so it’s very gratifying to have the positive feedback. It took me some time to get back into the idea that I’m a writer.”

Congratulations to Jennifer, to all the participants who were AWAI Verified™, and to everyone who completed this tough project.

As Gordon says, you now know more about white papers than 98% of the other writers out there.

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Published: August 6, 2022

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