...I found out much to my surprise that I had been selected as a winner for the Time Out/ Media Trust's 'Your London' competition not long ago...!
'Media Trust has joined forces with Time Out London to launch Your London - an initiative that offers young talent from across the capital the chance to be mentored by Time Out’s Editor-in-Chief Tim Arthur and be part of Time Out London’s editorial team.
Your London, supported by The Jack Petchey Foundation, offers 18-25 year olds from across the capital the chance to pick up writing, photography and digital media skills from top journalists and be part of the team that creates Time Out London’s January 2013 edition.'
Tell us about yourself and why you feel you deserve this opportunity (max 150 words) *
I'm a born and bred Londoner with a passion for creativity, exploration and discovery. I derive much of my inspiration from the places I go and the people I meet in London. Over the last few years I've written books, poems and short stories set in London, I've had my photography work up in places such as Brixton Village and the Candid gallery, I've worked in many different places across the capital, North London to South London, from the Natural History Museum to the London Wetland Centre. I've also volunteered in various community settings such as housing estates, pharmacies and refugee drop- in centres and schools. I love walking through London and meeting different characters along the way who inspire me and shape my way of life. I also currently run a blog which seeks to convey the ethereal qualities of London life.
Tell us what London means to you, how you’d describe your capital and why you think it would be interesting to Time Out London’s audience (max 200 words) *
This (Super) Natural City: A distinct quality of my London is the ethereal, mystical and timeless nature of the City, which to me, is most visibly found in the hidden wildlife-rich green areas of the city. The Magnificent Seven, for example Nunhead and Abney Park offer beautiful refuges in the heart of busy urban hubs. When one enters these almost sacred spaces, one leaves behind the insanity and movement of the city and is instead transported to a different place, a place of reflection and timelessness- the sound of traffic is replaced by the sound of birdsong...
Wherever I go in London, I find myself drawn to areas of quiet natural beauty- landscapes of an almost spiritual quality that appear to be untouched by humans. London is a beautiful city graced with heathland, marshes, wetlands, ancient woodlands, reservoirs, rivers and chalk grassland, many of these areas remain unknown/ unused or underused by the general public. I think my London would be of interest to Time Out's audience as I would not only seek to inform but also to encourage the reader to discover these special areas for themselves- to connect with the natural world, to the past and to themselves.
So as a winner, along with the four other finalists including my good friend AG, I received my very own SLR! Finally, after 7 years of using camera-phones and second hand digital cameras I've finally got my very own SLR camera. Thank you Media Trust and Time Out!
And that's not all.
I was also able to attend a couple of very insightful evening media industry workshops at the Time Out headquarters in London. We got a chance to talk to chief-editor Tim Arthur (really nice guy) and other equally cool sub-editors, over pizza! Yeah, Time Out's cool like that. During the workshops I learnt a lot about the media industry, the different ways in and how to be good at what you do. We also got a tour of the building. The offices were typically un-office like, I especially liked the trippy carpets and foosball table... We also got a chance to see how the magazine is put together, and were able to share our thoughts/ ideas on the design/ layout for an upcoming feature.
As well as this, we also got the chance to be mentored by the guys at Time Out including Staff Photographer, a very down to earth guy who's worked for Time Out for over 10 years- Rob Grieg. http://robgreig.com/ The five of us also got the chance to pitch ideas and contribute work to Time Out's Top 10's!
It was an amazing amazing opportunity and I feel like I've learnt a lot from the guys at Time Out. A big thank you to them and to the Media Trust and a special thank you to my mate Safia for making me apply. Be sure to pick up a copy of the mag on fri! I wrote a few tiny pieces... :-)