Featured image: Lucy Warburton
“Together, we created a publication that is relevant, student-driven, and beautifully crafted.”
aAh! launched its latest print magazine, The ENERGY Issue, this month, with a special launch party and student media awards ceremony at the Manchester Poetry Library.
The 2023 Student Media Awards highlighted some of the team members who have given their all to the online and print magazine this year and celebrated the efforts of the team who helped bring this latest issue together.
Hosted by Graphic Design student Bradley Samson and Creative Writing student Daniel Martin, eight awards were granted in total for a wide array of roles as well as those who had demonstrated outstanding contribution.
First up, Law student Megan O’Sullivan was crowned Student Writer of the Year. The hosts revealed: “This student journalist is always motivating and inspiring her fellow team members. Working across both the print and online magazine, they have challenged themselves in their writing, consistently pushing the boundaries with the pieces they produce.”
Megan’s contributions to The Energy Issue include her longform feature ‘The Cost of Living Crisis is Killing Creativity’, as well as her ‘energy-boosting grub’ recipe in collaboration with MetMUnch.
Megan said: “Being a part of the magazine this year has been an incredible experience. I have gained so many new skills in just a short amount of time, which I continue to use in my writing now. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on the print magazine and the online mag too. I look forward to many more exciting opportunities with aAh!”
As for Student Editor of the Year, it was no surprise to the crowd when editorial assistant and MA Multimedia Journalism Elena John was crowned the winner. The award recognised her “great commitment to publishing quality student journalism”.
Elena was described as “having a keen eye for detail and are always motivating their fellow team members to produce their best work. Taking up a leadership role at aAh!, she has demonstrated their talents, passions and teamwork skills in a great light.”
You can check out Elena’s ‘Editor’s letter’ in The Energy Issue, as well as her ‘Meet the Manchester Artists Raising Climate Consciousness’ round up and her listicle of books to reignite your love of reading.
Elena said: “I’m thrilled to have received the Editor of the Year award and to have had the opportunity to be Editorial Assistant for aAh! over the past few months. It’s been a truly enriching experience… I feel so lucky to work with such a driven and supportive team to produce such a fantastic magazine.”
Many have reflected on the unique style of illustration throughout The ENERGY Issue so it was great to see Kate King recognised for her “high quality, impactful pieces [of illustration] which have injected new levels of creativity and flair.” Kate was awarded Student Illustrator of the Year, recognising how she has “twice been chosen as the cover artist [for both The FRESHERS Issue and The ENERGY Issue].”
For the Student Photographer of the Year, the award was given to Orrin Saint-Pierre in recognition for their “high-quality, impactful images”. The Photography student’s stunning portfolio captured the attention of the team who were “passionate about dedicating a number of spreads to these talented images”.
Student Designer of the Year was awarded to Bradley Samson for their “style, professionalism, and innovation”. Bradley was described as “[having] been the driving force behind a lot of the creative decisions the team took and they never shied away from giving or receiving feedback”.
Expressing his appreciation, Bradley said: “I was delighted to have won the Student Designer of the Year award, especially since I’ve only been involved with aAh for a few months. The team is a lovely supportive environment where everyone’s input is valued, and where we’ve all enjoyed working together and learning from each other.
“It has given me a really valuable opportunity to learn new skills, and seeing my work in print is so rewarding. I’m so proud of how everyone’s work has come together into such a great issue.”
The Highest of High Fives Award recognised “a member of the team who brings enthusiasm, wit and energy to the table”. Faye Burne won this award, described as a natural team player who regularly “provides positive and constructive feedback to everyone and can be counted for last minute design support”. Faye’s team members shared that she is “always ready with a kind and funny remark […] Always coming up with innovative ideas and gorgeous looking spreads”.
The Rising Star Award recognised “a new aAh! Magazine team members who have put themselves out there and pushed themselves to develop a new style, a skill or made an impressive contribution.” This was awarded to Samuel Jolly as “despite not coming from a journalistic background [has] bravely put his all into his work.” The hosts revealed “his infectious enthusiasm and commitment makes it feel as if he has always been part of the team”.
Samuel said: “I have found it incredibly rewarding to work with the aAh! It allows a lot of creative freedom, and feels like an incredibly professional team to be a part of.”
The final award of the evening was for Outstanding Contribution to Student Media and went to Graphic Design student Lisa Silva. This award recognised the “immense pride” Lisa takes in her work and commitment to the organisation, production and refinement of The ENERGY Issue on a whole. “From holding meetings throughout the week to organising their very own design team. They have driven everyone towards the magazine’s final form,” the hosts shared with the crowd.
Lisa said: “I feel really happy and honoured that the team nominated me for this award. It is obviously a great feeling to have your efforts recognised. I hope it also speaks to the pride and joy I’ve felt being a part of this team. Together, we created a publication that is relevant, student-driven and beautifully crafted.”
The ENERGY Issue is out now. Pick up your copy on campus or read online.