Get writing and designing, and you could win too

Before christmas, The TESS won the Business and Professional Magazine of the Year Award from the Periodical Publishers' Association (PPA) Scotland, and the boost it gave staff was tremendous. So it is with even more zeal that we are encouraging secondaries to enter the 2009 PPA awards for Scottish School Magazines.

Sponsored by Determined to Succeed, the Scottish Government's enterprise in education team, it is open to all secondary school magazines, newspapers or newsletters. There are 10 awards, ranging from design and layout to feature article, online presence, distribution and commercial strategy, and outstanding individual on the team.

This year, the PPA has done a deal with Quark Systems, which will give a Pounds 17,000 design software package QuarkXpress8 to each category winner. A host of other prizes are provided by various sponsors.

Last year, The TESS supported the award for the best feature article and had the winning writer, Annie Gray from Queensferry Community High, Edinburgh, spending a day in our office to see how the paper was put together, from writing through editing, sub-editing, design and layout on the page. Other prizes included visits to printers, and mentoring and work experience with different publishers.

The best school magazine of the year was Rare Beast, from Coatbridge High, North Lanarkshire, which encapsulated everything the judges were looking for: "excellent editorial, impressive articles, imaginative design, creativity and, above all, passion and commitment from a pupil-led team of enthusiasts". The pupils attended the glitzy PPA Awards dinner at the Radisson Hotel in Glasgow last autumn.

This year, the judging panel has been joined by Ian Lamb, editorial manager for DC Thomson's regional and national newspapers. Famous for the Sunday Post, Jackie and the Beano, DC Thomson has laid on office and factory tours of its premises in Dundee for past winners.

Deadline for entries is April 24. The award ceremony will be on June 12 in Edinburgh.


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