Thursday, 7 May 2015

Project Remix Awards Ceremony

Hello, readers! Today's post will be another feature on the amazing Project Remix, and I want to talk about the awards ceremony I was invited to attend two weeks ago, at the British Library. It was a gorgeous venue and it was a great place for everyone to come together to celebrate the winners and the shortlistees. 

As per usual, there was lots of cake and refreshments! I think I am just subconsciously drawn to events with cake... haha. But seriously, everything was so beautifully set out and everyone there was buzzing with excitement. There was definitely a tense but absolutely electric atmosphere, with lots of young people eager to find out whether or not they had been successful. As well as the winners and shortlistees, there were representatives from Penguin Random House, Book Trust and Movellas, students from two London secondary schools and professionals from the creative industries. We were welcomed by Yvonne Biggins from Movellas who introduced Project Remix and the different categories for the winners. Yvonne also spoke about the importance of fanfiction, not only on Movellas but for fostering the creativity of young people and getting them writing. It was stressed that fanfiction is what started the creative process for coming up with Project Remix, and that it was central to the general idea behind it. 

Then we heard from Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman (who everyone was delighted about seeing!) who gave an inspiring talk about how she first got into writing. She explained the pivotal importance of putting as much focus on the arts in schools as much as maths and the sciences. Malorie spoke about how childhood is the time of our greatest creativity, but that often adults become 'straightjacketed' by fear and lack of confidence- children are almost always proud of what they create and want to show it off to everybody. She wanted the competition to encourage young people to continue to express themselves creatively, but also to show the importance of the arts and creative subjects. However, as much as the competition was about showcasing talented young people's creativity, the competition also aimed to show teenagers that there are routes into the arts industries, and it isn't impossible to do careers in the future that you actually enjoy.

Next came the announcement of the winners! Everyone was incredibly supportive of each other and excited for each winner. The highlight for me was being able to listen/watch/see all of the entries by the amazing winners and runner ups- they were all incredible and I couldn't see myself creating anything like it any time soon! The winners all spoke openly about their inspiration and why they chose the particular novel to base their creation on. You could see the passion and enjoyment they had experienced while creating their work radiating from them... to use an extremely overrated metaphor. But you see my point. It was just lovely to spend a whole afternoon with people passionate about creativity, dedicated to teenagers who were the best examples for it. 

The only thing possibly more exciting than finding out the winners was finding out about the prizes the winners were going to receive! I must say, I was extremely jealous of all of them. As well as a goody bag of books, including a copy of Malorie Blackman's new YA anthology Love Hurts, the prizes were...

Creative writing: An editorial feedback session with Random House editor, Natalie Doherty.

Comic strip: A behind-the-scenes visit to The Phoenix comic, including meeting the team at Phoenix HQ in Oxford, finding out about how a comic is made, and getting some career advice from the Phoenix’s comic creators

Cover design: A portfolio session with Random House senior fiction book designer Laura Bird.

Book trailer: A feedback session with BBC director Jermain Julien.

Music: A behind the scenes day at a music studio shadowing Brendon Harding, studio manager and resident engineer at Red Bull Studios, London.

To top it all off, I was very lucky to meet Malorie Blackman and Laura Dockrill from Radio One, and I even got my battered old copy of Noughts and Crosses signed! A definite highlight for me! I also interviewed the winners for a big post coming up on Huffington Post, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Read all the entries below:

Running From Shadows by Grace Haddon:

The Fault in Our Stars Music (ProcrastinatorJ) by Jacob Simpson:

Wonder (Meganissleeping) by Megan Long:

'Fangirl' Comic Strip (Picachunicorn) by Georgia Oliver:

Fangirl (C.H. Potter) by Christina Louise Hitchmough:

Check out all of these links below to find out more about Project Remix, Movellas and Children's Laureate!

Until next time :)

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