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05.12.06
Young, gifted and 'hacks': Falmouth writers' website runner up for 'Best Website of the Year'

bloc-online.com, a web-based magazine run by students on University College Falmouth's MA Professional Writing course, was recently announced the runner-up in the hotly-contested Website of the Year category at The Guardian's Student Media Awards 2006.

Bloc-online.com has developed into a comprehensive resource aimed at writers and people interested in writing. It runs an annual competition, features advice for new writers from leading lights such as Falmouth-based Green Wing scriptwriter, James Henry; best-selling novelists John le Carré, Sarah Walters and Robert Goddard; children's fantasy writer Louise Cooper and punctuation guru Lynne Truss. It also picks the brains of leading publishers, agents and television producers, as well as providing a showcase for new writing talent from around the world.

Co-editors of the site, Niki Khoroushi and Ruth Underwood, attended the London awards ceremony to receive their prize of £250. The title went to the University of Warwick's warwickboar, who were runners up in 2005.

"Although it was disappointing not to win, it was a great achievement to be second in the country and I'm really pleased that bloc is now reaching a wider audience," said Ruth Underwood. "This year's team stand a good chance of winning next year if they continue to exploit the potential of the medium and, dare I say it, improve on our efforts," Ruth added. "Above all, I am glad that bloc has been analysed by professionals and that the team can now use the judges' feedback to improve the site as Warwick have done."

The awards ceremony was reported in The Guardian under the headline of 'Young, gifted and hacks'. Confirming the rapid change the industry is facing, the newspaper's editor, Alan Rusbridger, stressed that journalists needed to master new media if they were to reach an increasingly fragmented audience that demanded greater interactivity. "It has dawned on me that the years when they worked with just a notebook and pencil are over," he said. "They now have to work in at least five media: keyboard, sound, stills and moving pictures, podcasts and hyperlinks."

The final word, however, belongs to Niki: "It has been really good experience running a website: enhancing its appearance, improving the quality of the New Writing section and introducing podcast competitions, for example. It's fun conducting the interviews and having your writing put up. It's also great to be able to put this experience on my CV or mention it at job interviews." Students of the future, take note. Study Professional Writing at Falmouth, and it could be you.

University College Falmouth is a founding partner in the Combined Universities in Cornwall, a unique initiative to promote regional economic regeneration through higher education. The CUC is funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall County Council.

Through the College's Creative Enterprise Cornwall project, which is part-funded by the European Social Fund, eligible students can receive a fees discount of up to £1,000 on postgraduate study at University College Falmouth. For further information, visit www.falmouth.ac.uk/cec.

For further information about the PgDip/MA in Professional Writing at University College Falmouth, please visit www.falmouth.ac.uk/professionalwriting, email admissions@falmouth.ac.uk or contact Admissions on 01326 214374.

For further information contact Jilly Easterby at University College Falmouth on 01326 213792 or email: jilly.easterby@falmouth.ac.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2 through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The University of Exeter is a partner of the CUC.

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Editor's notes:

 

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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