NCTJ student wins magazine memorial award

Laura Symonds, a graduate of the NCTJ-accredited BA Magazine Journalism at University of Sunderland, has scooped the first ever The JournalKevin Overbury Award for Best Magazine Journalism Student.

The award, in memory of University of Sunderland journalism lecturer and former deputy editor of The Journal, Kevin Overbury, who died in 2012 after a long illness, was presented to Laura at her graduation ceremony at the Stadium of Light in July.

The 21-year-old gained particular praise from academics for her final project magazine, Geekybit, as an alternative women’s magazine for those who love all things “geeky” including technology, science, sci-fi and fantasy entertainment and fashion.

She said: “It was a massive surprise and I was over the moon to hear my name when the award winner was announced. It felt incredibly special to be given the award and made all the hard work that has gone in over the past year so worthwhile.

“I certainly want to work in magazine journalism now I have finished my course. This course has given me the motivation and whetted my appetite to go and achieve my dreams. My dissertation magazine was different to what is available in most shops and I’d love it if I could have the opportunity to write about similar topics in the future, either online or in a magazine. I couldn’t think of a better job and I really have loved the opportunity to do just that at Sunderland.”

Alex Lockwood, her final year project tutor, said: “Laura’s project really did set out to do something different, and in that she succeeded. It was impeccably put together, and professional throughout. Laura should be very proud of what she’s achieved.”