Two fashion journalism students from the University of Sunderland have been shortlisted for national awards that celebrate the best in student publishing.

Hannah Mayer and Alex Laws, who both graduated from the BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism course this summer, have been nominated in the Magazine Academy Awards.

The awards were formed in 2014 to celebrate the brightest new talent in magazine journalism in the UK and showcase student work to the best of the industry.

Hannah, from Macclesfield, has been shortlisted in the BBC Worldwide Best New Magazine Brand category for her magazine Liberty.

The 21-year-old said: “I’m super excited and proud that Liberty has been shortlisted, all the hard work was worth it. Liberty’s ethos focused on body positivity and celebrating everyone as worthy of being featured in magazines, not just the usual models we see today. Maybe this shows the fashion industry is ready to start accepting that.”

Alex Laws, 22, from Sunderland, has been nominated in the BBC Worldwide Outstanding Consumer Journalist category for her magazine Influence, a stylish business publication for the creative industries.

She said: “I am so shocked but incredibly excited to have made the shortlist for the Magazine Academy Awards. When I was initially put forward for the awards I never thought I would make the final shortlist. It just makes me so proud of the work I produced and makes it feel so worth it.”

Both students will attend the Magazine Academy awards ceremony in London on October 19. The award judges include Trish Halpin, editor of Marie Claire and Mark Frith, editor of the Radio Times.

Liz Lamb, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Journalism at Sunderland, said: “We are absolutely delighted that two of our fashion journalism students have been shortlisted.

“Both Hannah and Alex worked tremendously hard on their final year projects and produced their magazines solely themselves. This included coming up with an original concept, carrying out market research, designing the publications, as well as doing all the interviews, writing, and research.

“Alex managed to secure an exclusive interview with international fashion designer Gareth Pugh, while Hannah produced a fantastic feature with body positive campaigner Megan Crabbe, who has featured in publications such as the Daily Mail and the Independent. These were amazing scoops for student journalists.

“The awards recognise the best new talent in magazine journalism and attract entries from students at universities across the UK. For our students to be shortlisted is a brilliant achievement and a testament to the quality of our fashion journalism programme here at the university.”

The Fashion Journalism course at the University of Sunderland is the only course in the UK that is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists, and by The Professional Publishers Association, the trade body for magazine companies.

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