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Value of Collaboration Proven by Award-winning Writer Rachel

27th January 2013

Our already lively SpoT chat at The Beacon Colleagues on Tap day in late January was lifted further with some great news from regular co-worker Rachel Cochrane.  Rachel, a writer and dramatist, and the founder of website listenupnorth.com that showcases other local writers, has been awarded an accolade for her writing and her contribution to the writing community of the North East. 

Rachel is the proud recipient of The Joseph Skipsey Award 1913 presented by Northern Voices Community Projects at an event held to commemorate 151 years since the Hartley Pit Disaster near Whitley Bay.  Tyneside poet Dr Keith Armstrong presented Rachel with the award, commending not only her inspiring writing, but also the help she has given to the region’s writers, describing her contribution as “Phenomenal. This award is well earned and overdue”.

I’m definitely not qualified to appraise Rachel’s literary skills, although I enjoyed watching the pilot of her drama Celia, about a ‘woman of a certain age’ on digital media last year!  What’s clear to me, however, is that Rachel’s approach to running and growing her business through collaboration with other writers and providing a platform for their work, is getting her noticed because it’s unique and it’s genuinely adding value.  Rather than isolating herself to focus only on her own writing (which would probably be the easier option!) and then singly attempting to take that to her potential audience, Rachel is raising awareness of the rich talent that exists across the region through listenupnorth.com.  Whilst she succeeds in elevating other writers and dramatists by bringing them to a 'tuned in' audience, in turn she’s also raising awareness of her own work.

This principle of forming alliances for mutual benefit is fundamental to the success of Colleagues on Tap.   I’m always inspired by the diversity of people and businesses that have taken advantage of Colleagues on Tap co-working days.  From website designers to virtual assistants, artists to retailers, people from just about every conceivable sector of business has been involved over the past few years.

Co-working days reinforce that we all have something to learn from each other;  although we may all be working hard to become, or become recognised, as an expert in our own niche, we still benefit from sharing connections and our ‘how to run a successful business’ knowledge, albeit we might be coming at it from a different perspective;  and that different perspective is what makes it so powerful!.  I’ve witnessed some dynamic and insightful conversations about topics like social media between, say, an accountant, a PR specialist and an artist; and have also observed potential competitors coming together to find common ground, and work just that bit harder to differentiate their individual offers to the market, which is also good for business!

Congratulations to Rachel Cochrane for her recent award, which brings not only validation that she’s a talented writer, but also a concrete affirmation that collaboration is the way forward.

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