Tight outlines and an imaginative use of the Teeline alphabet won two students copies of an NCTJ textbook.
To celebrate Shorthand Week, held in November, the NCTJ hosted a competition which called for students to write their three favourite Teeline shorthand outlines and their three worst outlines.
47 students currently learning shorthand at Norton College, Sheffield; Nottingham Trent University; Bournemouth University; Up to Speed Journalism Training; Glasgow Caledonian University and Harlow College entered the competition.
Their entries were judged by Michael Defroand, chief reporter at the Kentish Express and a member of the NCTJ shorthand board, who chose two winners: Thomas Ireland of Norton College, Sheffield, and Leah Smith of Bournemouth University.
The two students have now received their prizes – a copy of NCTJ Teeline Gold Standard for Journalists written by Marie Cartwright, NCTJ chief examiner for shorthand.
Michael said: “I thought all the entrants put a lot of thought into their selections. It was interesting to see that some selected an outline as among their best only for others to choose it as one of their worst.
“I thought Leah Smith’s selection of anonymous and gamble as two of her least favourites were good choices, while Thomas Ireland’s solution for multi-storey car park was imaginative.”
Competition winner Thomas said: “Shorthand is a challenging but rewarding skill to learn. I enjoy being able to apply my new skill to the other areas of my NCTJ course.
“I like outlines which flow well and groups which can be written faster than they can be said – catcher-uppers I call them. ‘I think’ is a good example.”
Fellow winner Leah said: “I used to find shorthand really difficult to get used to and it really used to stress me out when I first started learning, but now it’s really useful and I’ve started thinking in shorthand outlines!”