Honour for Sunderland student writers

Some of the team at Sunderland University who produce the Spark magazine which has recieved an 'highly commended' at the Student Publications Associations awards,

Some of the team at Sunderland University who produce the Spark magazine which has recieved an 'highly commended' at the Student Publications Associations awards,

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STUDENTS are on the “write” track after picking up an award for Spark Magazine.

The group from Sunderland University collected the runner-up certificate for the best student magazine from the first Student Publication Association Awards.

The ceremony, at Southampton University Students’ Union, brought together 30 publications.

Spark editor Christopher Smith, 23, a magazine journalism student, said the award meant a lot because the title has only been going for 18 months.

“It is fantastic that we have won when the other publications have been running for so long while we have been learning how things are done, and we have been lucky with the amount of support we have had in Sunderland.”

He added: “It is nice for the team to get the recognition, and it is nice for me coming towards the end of my run as editor.”

Christopher helped to start the magazine online in January 2012 before also launching the print version six months later.

“It is a bi-monthly magazine,” he said.

“We launched the print version in July for the Sunderland Airshow, had one in September for freshers and one for Christmas.

“The magazines are in Sunderland Library, the university and Sunderland College.

“We are currently printing about 4,000 copies, and the magazine is totally supported by advertising.”

Christopher will graduate from the university in the summer, leaving the magazine behind.

Journalism student Adam Swainton, 20, will take over as editor.

“It’s been quite strange training someone else up to do the job,” said Christopher.

“You don’t realise how involved with something you are until you’re getting ready to leave.”