#SPANC23 National Awards shortlists announced

#SPANC23 National Awards shortlists announced

#SPANC23 National Awards shortlists announced

That’s right, it’s the time you’ve all been waiting for – the #SPANC23 shortlists are finally here!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter, we had more than 1,200 entries this year, a record, and the quality was overwhelming.

In the words of one judge it was “impossible to choose” who made the top tier.

We’re also pleased to be able to announce our team of expert judges this year, who will be making the final decisions on our winning and highly commended awardees. 

We’re so grateful for their time, as well as our sponsors, without whom these awards would not be possible.


We know many of you will have been holding out for the shortlists to buy your #SPANC23 tickets.

Because of this year’s overwhelming demand, we’re very limited in the numbers of tickets we have left. 

But the team is working hard to secure more space and we hope to release more, so please do sign up to the waiting list to find out instantly if there is space.

Click here to buy or sign up to the waiting list.

Financial Assistance Scheme

As in previous years, we are offering places on our Financial Assistance Scheme for those who are unable to afford to come to #SPANC23.

These places are extremely limited and are designed to open up representation in journalism.

If you think you fit the criteria, you can apply here. All decisions will be made by March 20.

Shout about it!

We would love to celebrate your shortlist success on our social media channels.

If you post, please do tag us, we’re @spajournalism on both Twitter and Instagram, and our hashtag this year is #SPANC23.

Well done again, and we look forward to unveiling the winners on April 1.

SPA National Awards 2023 shortlist

Best Publication

Sponsored by…

  • The Beaver
  • Roar News
  • Cherwell
  • Exeposé
  • Platform Magazine
  • Brig Newspaper
  • The Mancunion
  • Concrete
  • The River
  • York Vision

Winners judge: News Associates

Billy Dowling-Reid Award for Outstanding Commitment

Sponsored by…

  • Talia Andrea, STRAND Magazine
  • Freya Shaw, Epigram
  • Rowan Humphreys, Epigram
  • Shikhar Talwar, The Mancunion
  • Lucy Jackson, The Student
  • Joe Rossiter and Nicole Wu, Palatinate
  • Lucy Acheson, BathTime Magazine
  • Joshua Hughes, Exeposé
  • Nandini Agarwal, The Cheese Grater
  • Reece Goodall, The Boar

Winners judge: Niamh Robinson, Apprentice at The Telegraph and last year’s winner

Best Reporter 

Sponsored by…


  • Elizabeth McBride, Palatinate
  • Emily Doughty, Palatinate
  • Megan Ballantyne, Exeposé
  • Kimberley Mannion, The Glasgow Guardian
  • Alanah Hammond, Nouse
  • Luke Chafer, The Glasgow Guardian
  • Vanessa Huang, The Beaver
  • Liberty Phelan, The Student
  • Lara Hassan, The River
  • Kit Sinclair, Impact

Winners judge: Aletha Adu, Political Correspondent at The Guardian

Best News Story

Sponsored by…

  • Stirling University ‘at fault as international student is left without visa – Andrew Robson, Brig Newspaper
  • Overworked and unpaid: how Durham treats its Postgraduate Researchers – Waseem Mohamed, Palatinate
  • Vulnerable LU student left begging for financial aid after alleged ‘missold’ scholarship and hardship fund rejection – Tabitha Lambie, SCAN
  • Over 1,264 cases of asbestos found in college accommodation buildings – Emily Doughty and Nicole Wu, Palatinate
  • Chun buckets everywhere: how initiation ceremonies ruin the fresher experience – Neil Majithia and Elettra Plati, The Cheese Grater
  • Edinburgh students ‘living on couches’ unable to rent flats as freshers week looms – Liberty Phelan, The Student
  • Students feel forced to sign for housing as anger towards University grows – Emily Doughty, Daniel Hodgson and Holly Barry, Palatinate
  • Casualisation of staff contracts on the rise at UofG – Kimberley Mannion, The Glasgow Guardian
  • LSE and British Petroleum locked into permanent relationship  – Vanessa Huang, The Beaver
  • Expenses scheme exploited by UofG staff – Luke Chafer, The Glasgow Guardian

Winners judge: Jack Elsom, Political Correspondent at The Sun

Best Specialist Publication

  • The Economic Tribune
  • The Lemon Press
  • La Civetta
  • The Isis
  • Women’s Wrongs
  • The Creative Writing Society Compendium

Winners judge: Caitlin Doherty, Reporter at PoliticsHome

Best Overall Digital Media

Sponsored by…

  • The Beaver
  • Nouse
  • Forge Press
  • Roar News
  • Empoword Journalism
  • The Glasgow Guardian
  • Palatinate
  • The Mancunion
  • The Saint
  • The Student

Winners judge: News Associates

Best Newcomer Publication

Sponsored by…

  • ScienceMind
  • Viva Voce
  • The Aberdeen University Creative Writing Society Compendium
  • Solipse Magazine
  • Leicester Student Magazine

Winners judge: Dan Falvey, Head of Digital News at GB News

Best Website

Sponsored by…

  • Epigram
  • The Gaudie
  • The Saint
  • Exeposé
  • Impact Magazine
  • Brig Newspaper
  • The Mancunion
  • Roar News

Winners judge: Harry Slater, Digital Director at Dazed Media

Best Science Publication or Section

Sponsored by…

  • The Mancunion
  • ScienceMind
  • I, Science
  • Epigram
  • Concrete
  • Glasgow University Magazine
  • The Boar
  • Redbrick
  • Nouse

Winners judges: Katrina Wesencraft, Freelance Science Writer and Content Creator, Gabriela De Sousa, Science Communications Officer at Worldwide Cancer Research, and Kristin Leslie, Epidemiologist at Public Health Scotland

Best Science or Tech Piece

Sponsored by…

  • Citizen scientists: how a high school student broken new biological ground – Emma Hattersley, The Mancunion
  • Does AI influencer Sereh Reikka feel emotions? – Leah Renz, Redbrick
  • Magic mushrooms as medicine: psychedelic therapy could hold key to curing depression – George Barsted, Concrete
  • From Port Harcourt to the port city of Bristol: in conversation with Hilary Frank-Ito – Milan Perera, Epigram
  • The infuriating cost of entry to the boy’s club – Sytske Lib, Glasgow University Magazine
  • Tackling LGBT+ inequalities in STEM: The Boar interviews Warwick PLAN – Ben Keedwell, The Boar
  • How would you go about destroying the asbestos in Derwent? – Emily Sinclair, York Vision
  • World Cancer Day: patient focussed treatment in Manchester – Freya Anderson, The Mancunion
  • Gino D’Acampo: ‘NFTs are the future of gaming’ – Will Brown, Palatinate
  • Durham research: optimising public health messaging – Waseem Mohamed, Palatinate

Winners judges: Katrina Wesencraft, Freelance Science Writer and Content Creator, Gabriela De Sousa, Science Communications Officer at Worldwide Cancer Research, and Kristin Leslie, Epidemiologist at Public Health Scotland

Best Sports Section

  • Epigram
  • SCAN
  • Exeposé
  • The Boar
  • Brig Newspaper
  • Platform Magazine
  • Impact Magazine
  • The Mancunion
  • Palatinate

Winners judge: Chris Stevenson, Premium Editor at The Independent

Best Sports Reporter

  • Oliver Jervis, Palatinate
  • Claire Thomson, The Glasgow Guardian
  • Jake Rodrigues, The Boar
  • Maddie Parker, Palatinate
  • Sanjay Suri, Palatinate
  • Lauren McCann, The Scoop
  • Joshua Highes, Exeposé
  • Andrew Robson, Brig Newspaper

Winner judge: Owen Gibson, Deputy Editor at The Guardian

Best Comment Piece

Sponsored by…

  • Stirling’s city centre waste collection needs a rethink – Isla Glen, Brig Newspaper
  • Confessions of international UCU picket-line crossers – Shikhar Talwar, The Mancunion
  • Are ball prices creating a two-tier system for students? – Waseem Mohamed, Palatinate
  • Are students divided at the University of Glasgow? – Tom Gilbert, The Glasgow Guardian
  • Why we all feel so lonely at One Elmwood – David Williamson, The Scoop
  • Those who receive first-class honours degrees should save the bragging for their LinkedIn posts – not their graduation ceremonies – Kate Henshaw, Trinity News
  • Navigating university hook-up culture as a survivor of sexual assault – Sahana Rudra, The Beaver
  • Why I stayed: beginning to love Cork – Claire Watson, University Express
  • Let’s push for gender equality in commemoration on Trinity’s campus – Ella Sloane, Trinity News
  • Your friendships (probably) won’t last  – Natalie Olofsson, The Saint

Winners judge: Alex Massie, Columnist at The Times and Sunday Times and Scotland Editor at The Spectator

Best Interview

Sponsored by…


  • Parents open parliamentary petition for ‘Harry’s Law’ following death of Exeter student – Joshua Hughes, Megan Ballantyne and Amy Rushton, Exeposé
  • Broken Vaginas Belfast: the new student-led campaign calling for endometriosis care – Flávia Gouveia, The Scoop
  • Joe Cracknell: ‘You’re thinking what next, what next?’ Middlesex wicketkeeper on Durham University and professional cricket – Sanjay Suri, Palatinate
  • Nouse talks to Ukrainian society president Vitalina Schevchenko, a year on from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – Alanah Hammond, Nouse
  • ‘It really felt like war’: Professor Van-Tam shares his pandemic experience – Lucinda Dodd, Impact
  • ‘What they’re doing at the moment isn’t enough. People will just continue to die’: in conversation with Bob and Maggie Abrahart – James Dowden, Epigram
  • The hidden history of Scotland’s pottery: ‘Nearly 250 years – why didn’t we know about it?’ – Kate Connor, Strathclyde Telegraph
  • ‘There’s no chance of being able to see my family again if this regime continues’: the haunting experience of an Iranian woman living in Sheffield – Erin Mansell, Forge Press
  • In conversation with Wildcat’s Harry Turner – Emma Tegg, I,Science
  • Mysteries of life, on earth and above – Charles Gorrivan, The Saint

Winner judge: John Pienaar, Drive Presenter at Times Radio

Best Feature

Sponsored by…


  • Bereaved parents on the urgent need for the legal reform to the higher education sector – Niamh Flanagan, The Glasgow Guardian
  • Not really for the quitting: the darker side of vaping – Henry Gee, Nouse
  • Globetrotting during a global crisis – Ellen Kenny, Trinity News
  • How LSE failed a survivor of sexual assault – Lily Shield-Polyzoides, The Beaver
  • The Beaver investigates: how LSE students cheat their way into internships – Amadea Hofmann, The Beaver
  • ‘Please don’t billed, because there’s nobody out there to help me’: stories of students training in the NHS – Liberty Phelan, The Student
  • ‘I felt really isolated’: the unique hardships of student parents – George Devo, Forge Press
  • The lad: the face of gender-related violence – Claire Watson, The University Express
  • Freshers targeted by dodgy promotion tactics – Lucinda Dodd, Impact Magazine
  • Taking drugs to get high (grades) – Sophia Brousset, The Saint

Winners judge: Anoosh Chakelian, Britain Editor at The New Statesman

Best Lifestyle Piece

  • Antidepressants and me – Becca Luke, The Glasgow Guardian
  • It’s out with the Vogue and in with the views – Eve Dickson, Glasgow University Magazine
  • The lipstick effect: why we’ll buy a new lily but not turn the heating on – Kathleen Lodge, Glasgow University Magazine
  • Demystifying PMDD – Ella Sloane, Trinity News
  • The problem with heroin chic – Izzie Naish, LSU Label
  • The streetfoodification of Glasgow – Rothery Sullivan, The Glasgow Guardian
  • Dishing the dirt on the ‘clean girl’ aesthetic – Hannah Bentley, Impact Magazine
  • My ovaries and I – Ria Walls, Trinity News
  • Looking beyond our subconscious bias: living with Cerebral Palsy – Meg Howe, The Courier
  • When food makes a difference: Food Not Bombs Aberdeen – Rory Buccheri, The Gaudie

Winners judge: Phoebe Tonks, Lifestyle Writer at OK! Magazine

Best Political Piece

  • The full story of education secretary Nadhim Zahawi’s visit to Warwick, one month on – Ben Morley and Cameron Roberts, The Boar
  • University chancellor in gender recognition reform comment controversy – Ali Rees, Brig Newspaper
  • Students join with trade unions in solidarity protest – William Dashe, The Saint
  • Party politics on the ground: a local perspective – Max Abdulgani, Nouse
  • China’s ‘A4 revolution’ spreads to London and the world – The Beaver Newsroom, The Beaver
  • Inside the Orange Order: an interview with a former lodge leader – Luke Chafer, The Glasgow Guardian
  • Demystifying direct action: in conversation with Just Stop Oil – Niamh Flanagan, The Glasgow Guardian
  • The Good Friday Agreement at 25 – where do tomorrow’s leaders think we go from here? – Claire Dickson, The Scoop
  • In conservation with: Matt Forde – Jeevan Farthing, The Glasgow Guardian

Winners judge: Henry Zeffman, Associate Political Editor at The Times

Best Arts and Culture Piece

  • ‘There is no space for them to work’: Belfast desperately lacks accessible spaces for artists – Abby Davidson, The Scoop
  • Dance review: Black Ballet – Youssra Al Hajji, Redbrick
  • Lizzie Esau: musician first, student second – the architect who builds a different kind of bridge – Sophie McNally, The Courier
  • Reading my mother back: a memoir in childhood animal stories – Ava Bratejka Lindberg, The Gaudie
  • Will silence hit the north? Night and Day Cafe and The Leadmill facing closure – Jacob Broughton-Glerup, The Mancunion
  • Irish dancing: the triquetra of sport, art, and Irish culture – Fern Kelly-Landry, Trinity News
  • Glasgow’s social gig for young people – Olivia Marrin’s, The Glasgow Guardian
  • The art of war photography with David Pratt – Kimberley Mannion, The Glasgow Guardian
  • Andar review: the best, and most leftist, Star Wars show yet
  • The Kelvin Ensemble’s Voyages of the Sea – Jeevan Farthing, The Glasgow Guardian

Winners judge: Meera Navlakha, Culture Reporter at Mashable

Best Creative Piece

  • The definitive Christmas dinner ranking list – Danny Munro, The Strathclyde Telegraph
  • What the f*** is going on?: a comprehensive guide to British politics – Isabel Loubser and Amelia Perry, The Saint
  • Naked yoga: a belligerent ode to the pussy – Mathilde Turner, The Cheese Grater
  • University distributes green tinted glasses for Go Green Week – Megan Ballantyne, Exeposé
  • Conservative calamari: the Tories take Squid Game – Alex Foster, The Oxford Student
  • Questions on the walk home – Rosie Willoughby, The Stag
  • A flower suitcase – Chloe Richardson, Brig Newspaper
  • Frieze of Life – Longyin Li, Palatinate
  • Stay in schools, kids – don’t become a twentysomething – Steven Balac, The Beaver

Winners judge: Punteha van Terheyden, Freelance Journalist, Editor and Ghostwriter specialising in true-life, and Founder of ethical journalism platform Lacuna Voices

Best Project or Initiative

Sponsored by…


  • Student papers for Harry’s Law – Megan Ballantyne and Joshua Hughes, Exeposé
  • The Beaver Breakdown – Lily Whittle and Dillon Loh, The Beaver
  • Modern slavery in Bristol – Epigram
  • Live coverage of political events – POLITY
  • #ProjectWinter – Impact Magazine and Platform Magazine
  • MEDIAXMUSIC – Inside The Box
  • The Plate X Playlist – The Croft food team and Epigram music team
  • The Courier 1438 (Sex) – The Courier
  • STRAND Magazine Live Music Showcases – Talia Andrea, STRAND Magazine
  • Working at LSE – Alan Nemirovski, Amadea Hofmann and William Goltz, The Beaver

Winners judge: Basia Cummings, Editor and Partner at Tortoise Studios

Best Newcomer Award (Rising Star)

Sponsored by…

  • Sumayyah Khalid, The Mancunion
  • Emma Darlington, Concrete
  • Emily Dalton, The Kingston Courier
  • Grace Humphreys, The Mancunion
  • Flávia Gouveia, The Scoop
  • Ruby Topalian, Trinity News
  • Luke Hewitt, The Mancunion
  • Ione Gildroy, The Student
  • Nicole Quy, The Croft Magazine

Winners judge: Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe, Political Correspondent at The Financial Times

Best Newspaper Design

  • SCAN
  • The Saint
  • York Vision
  • The Beaver
  • The Courier
  • Brig Newspaper
  • Palatinate
  • Roar News
  • The Boar
  • The Mancunion

Winners judge: Graham Pratt, Designer at the Daily Express and Sunday Express and former Production Trainer at PA Training

Best Magazine Design

  • RAZZ Magazine
  • I, Science
  • Impact Magazine
  • The Economic Tribune
  • Glasgow University Magazine
  • La Civetta
  • QMunicate Magazine

Winners judge: Alice Pomfret, Founder at Akin Magazine

Best Student Photographer

  • Elizabeth Grace, Roar News
  • Kieran Moore, Exeposé
  • Joey Monday, Falmouth Anchor
  • Max Harries, The Mic Magazine
  • Lisa Hamilton, Student Independent News
  • Simi Borovska, Brig Newspaper
  • Shikhar Talwar, The Mancunion
  • Reagan Yip, Platform Magazine
  • Ainy Shiyam, InQuire Media

Winners judge: Jeff Mitchell, Photographer at Getty


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