Conor Rees, the University of Worcester graduate who won the 2016 Media Student of the Year accolade, is advising those entering this year’s awards that just getting their entries before the panel of judges can be a “priceless” experience.
Conor (pictured), who picked up two category awards as well as the prestigious Student of the Year trophy, now publishes the high-quality 99 Percent Lifestyle magazine.
He said: “I truly believe that award schemes are worthwhile entering if you get the opportunity to do so. Even if you don’t think you have any chance of winning, getting your work in front of a panel of experts can be priceless if you are able to get feedback.
“When I entered the Midlands Media Student Awards, organised by Birmingham Press Club, I didn’t think I would get on the shortlist let alone pick up three awards. Since then, I have kept in close contact with a number of the judges and those at Birmingham Press Club, who have given me access to a lot of opportunities, including one year being a judge at the Midlands Media Awards.”
Conor’s award-winning magazine started life as a university project but is now sold in shops around the UK, Europe and Asia – and through its own online store has achieved sales in over 25 countries.
He said: “I produced the magazine as a portfolio piece and entered the awards thinking it would be good for my CV. After winning, it opened my eyes to the fact that people liked my work. Head judge Peter Lowe, Managing Editor of Sky News, gave me great feedback and made me realise that this particular piece of work had a life outside of education. It really made me want to give it a go and see if anyone else would be interested in my magazine.
“Over the past year, together with fellow-Birmingham designer Luke Tonge, I have redesigned the magazine and developed a set of brand guidelines that define what the magazine is about and its mission. I’m glad to say that since its ‘birth’ the magazine has been growing every single day.”
The next issue of 99 Percent Lifestyle (www.99PercentLifestyle.com) – focusing on the world of travel – will be published in March, with contributions from Youtuber Dance Mace, who shares a gripping story of oppression during an Indonesian drug scam, and Ben Page, who draws attention to the duality between solitude and loneliness on solo travel trips.
The magazine’s mission is to focus on the world’s best creators and entrepreneurs and through interviews with “inspiring” individuals around the globe opens up a world of enlightened stories and experiences.
· Categories for this year’s media student awards include broadcasting, culture, data journalism, features, news, photography and social media. The deadline for entries is 7 March.
· The awards ceremony takes place on 10 April at Mama Roux’s, Digbeth’s latest leisure venue. Individual tickets are priced at £30, including VAT. To make a booking visit https://www.midlandsmediaawards.co.uk/studentawards
· Entry details are available by going to https://www.midlandsmediaawards.co.uk/studentawards
Awards Enquiries - Jo Jeffries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Press Club enquiries - Fred Bromwich: email@example.com