Two of the team behind new magazine Guru were honoured by the scientific community last week – as finalists at a prestigious national awards ceremony.
The Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize, in association with The Guardian and The Observer newspapers, is an exciting new competition which seeks to find the next generation of science writing talent. Skilled writers from across the UK and Republic of Ireland were encouraged to send in short articles, addressing any area of science of interest to them. Almost 800 entries were submitted from great scientific minds across the country – and two of Guru’s writers made it through to the final 30.
Stuart Farrimond, 29, editor of Guru and ‘Science Guru’ for the magazine, was shortlisted for his short piece on the inner workings of the brain, with his very personal entry entitled ‘A Seizing Experience’ (you can read the full piece here). 26-year-old James Lloyd, the publication’s ‘Physics Guru’, was also shortlisted, for his short piece on the ‘Science of Swearing’ (read it here). As finalists, both Stuart and James attended the awards ceremony at the Wellcome Collection in London’s Euston Road on 12th October – hosted by comedian and top sceptical thinker Dara O’Briain – and before the winners were announced, both took part in science writing workshops at The Guardian’s offices.
Sadly, it wasn’t the young Gurus night, as the awards went to Penny Sarchet for her article ‘Death By Hypochondria: The Nocebo Effect’, and Tess Shellard for her article ‘Quorum Sensing Bacteria’. But it was a terrific accomplishment for both, and great exposure for Guru Magazine on a national scale – as both articles will shortly be published on the websites of both national newspapers.
“James and I were both honoured to be shortlisted for the awards, and it was great to meet with so many like-minded people on the night” said Stuart.
“We had the opportunity to spread the word about Guru, and there was a lot of interest in the project and what we are trying to do here. Through Guru, we want to give talented writers the opportunity for their words to reach a truly worldwide audience”.
Guru Magazine launched in June, and has now published three issues, with a growing readership of now more than 20,000. As a crowd-sourced publication, the project has attracted writers from both the UK and overseas – and this awards event provided the opportunity for three of the team to meet in person for the first time. Stuart met not only with fellow shortlisted writer James, but also with Daryl Ilbury, South African broadcaster and the magazine’s ‘Sceptic Guru’, who has recently relocated to London.
“We’ve attracted a lot of interest from writers the world over – so it was great to have the chance to actually meet with one another at this event” concludes Stuart. “I think we now need to start thinking about planning for the Guru Christmas party!”
Guru Issue Two is out now and covers topics as varied as: is facebook changing the way we view the world, scientific knitting, the secrets behind powerful public speaking, the top ten scary movies of all time, and a real-life experience of surviving an earthquake. There’s also an exclusive interview with ex-illusionist James Randi, who talks about his $1 million dollar challenge. See for yourself – download it, for free, now by clicking here.