Kingston publishers celebrate golden achievements


Despite the undoubted focus on events in East London, Greenwich and Eton Dorney, we’re proud to note that the London 2012 spotlight also hovered occasionally over a certain south-western corner of the capital during the recent Olympic games. Cyclist Bradley Wiggins said nothing would ever top the “incredible” noise from the crowd as he raced through Kingston during his gold-winning time trial, Kingston-born judo bronze medallist Karina Bryant is already planning to return to her old school in Surbiton, and, on the penultimate day of the games, Kingston University graduate Ed McKeever (aka the “Usain Bolt of the water”) took gold in the 200m kayak sprint.

But it’s not just athletes and Team GB supporters who are enjoying the glow of gold around Kingston right now. Our very own MA Publishing and MA Publishing and Creative Writing students also have something to celebrate: a set of similarly golden accomplishments announced at our recent awards and achievements ceremony.

The golden awards before being presented to our winners

As in previous years, Kingston’s 2011/12 MA Publishing Oscars honoured the best and the brightest of our current students. In a Hunger Games-themed ceremony, which included highly-competitive literary games and dressing as your favourite book character, the prizes were awarded by lecturers Alison Baverstock (dressed as Long John Silver  from Treasure Island, “before he lost his leg”), Anna Faherty (dressed as Flight Lieutenant Bigglesworth, aka Biggles) and Judith Watts (dressed as publisher Anastasia Steele from Fifty Shades of Grey).

Anastasia Steele, Long John Silver and Biggles. Otherwise known as the coaches and trainers…

And the winners – voted for by their fellow students – are…

Best academic researcher: Kelly Cracknell

Unable to pick her award up on the night, Kelly was described by one of the students who nominated her as being “the most prepared and least flustered person of the year”.

Best BUSINESS BRAIN: GRACE HEALY

In a hard-fought category,  aspiring entrepreneur Grace received three times as many votes as her fellow nominees.

Don’t be fooled by the charming Greek goddess look, Grace is as competitive as any Olympic athlete. The Nicola Adams of negotiation, she’s also a born saleswoman.

Best use of a placement: Lisa vanterpool

Lisa (aka Daisy Buchanan) not only discovered her love of rights while undertaking a placement with Blake Friedmann literary agency, she impressed them so much they asked her to stay on.

With 93% of the vote, Lisa’s win was as emphatic as Usain Bolt’s. She even rivals the sprinter’s legendary victory move with her own Great Gatsby-inspired pose.

Best networker: Philippa Sitters

One of Philippa’s (aka Jane Eyre) nominators described her as “seamlessly able to approach, talk and network with anyone in the industry”.

Like any elite athlete, Philippa takes her training regime very seriously. That’s why you’ll never find our very best networker far from a good glass of white…

Best copywriter: Melanie Kydd

Bucking the trend of under-achieving Australians this summer, Mel (aka Trillian from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) won this category through well-researched and expertly-delivered writing.

No, Mel’s not auditioning for Team Australia’s artistic gymnastics team, she’s acting out the company IB Tauris in the first round of our publishing charades competition.

MOST PROFESSIONAL APPLICATION OF PUBLISHING SKILLS: ERYL NORRIS

In the tightest race of the night, Eryl (aka Orinoco from The Wombles) came through based on her ability to stay calm, committed and industrious while under pressure.

Never one to do things by halves, Eryl’s award-winning fancy dress demonstrates her practical bent. Like US sprinter Dee Dee Trotter, she always stands out from the crowd.

Best overall contributor MA Publishing and Creative Writing: Kristin bergene

Kristin (aka Sam from Lord of the Rings) received the most nominations for this category, as well as winning it. One fellow student said “when anyone needed her or if anything needed to be done, she was there and she did it and she did it well… She was very giving of herself, ever supportive and always willing to put herself out there”.

Dashing to collect her award, Kristin’s a true flag-bearer for the course. Like US women’s goalkeeper Hope Solo, she’s a safe pair of hands and an inspirational team player.

Best overall contributor MA Publishing: Laura Vile

Laura (aka Dr Kay Scarpetta from Patricia Cornwell’s crime novels) was the runaway winner of this category, rewarded as much for her clinical skills of critical analysis as her ability to get on with everyone.

With perfect timing and skills honed to their best, our very own Jess Ennis not only won this award, but became the first of this year’s students to win a permament publishing role. Gold!

Congratulations to all the winning students: you’re the best of the best! Just like our Olympic heroes, we’ve got high aspirations for your future careers, we hope you’ll remember Kingston fondly and we’d love for you to come back and inspire others who want to follow in your footsteps.

All this year’s winners. Go Team PUB!

The full list of nominees included Siobhan Aldridge, Jess Becking, Corey Brookes, Kendyl Bryant, Jessica Dick, Felicia Gums, Ben Hewitt, Francesca Hopwood, Becky Mayhew, Holly Middlemiss, Yoanna Novakova, Alyssa O’Sullivan, Neringa Pangonyte, Joelyn Rolston-Esdelle, Bianca Walker, Jessie Warren and Holly Yamamoto. It’s a shame not everyone could have left with a medal, but we all know it’s not about the winning, it’s about the taking part…

Alyssa ‘Raoul Duke’ O’Sullivan and Ben ‘The Cat in the Hat’ Hewitt

Judith ‘Anastasia Steele’ Watts at her pouting best

Neringa ‘Rebecca’ Pangonyte

Jessica ‘Elizabeth Bennet’ Dick and Sebastian ‘Mr Darcy’ Eklund

Jess ‘Mrs Lovett’ Warren strumped by literary pictionary

Team PUB cheering on their fellow students

A final team talk from Long John Silver before the victory ceremony

Anastasia and Biggles share a special moment

MA Publishing Class of 2011/12. “Everyone say gold!”

Thanks once again to our fabulously talented photographer, Laura Bottomley, for capturing all our golden moments.

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