May 282015
 
The Shelf Awards: supporting the creative talent of the future

The Shelf Awards: supporting the creative talent of the future

Around this time of year I am usually inundated with stacks of inspiring creative ideas submitted by ambitious young creative graduates who are hoping to make it into the final of The Shelf Awards. I spend days whittling down these entries to put together a shortlist and invite the successful graduates along to a fabulous, full-on evening of networking in London with a host of creative industry experts. During the evening the graduates learn to sell themselves and their work. They pick up invaluable advice and they secure all-important work placements – many of which lead to full time employment. And the best team on the night (voted for by the invited experts) also pick up the coveted Shelf itself. I’ve been proud to have run The Shelf Awards for over 14 years. But they won’t be happening this year. Why? Money.

Since I founded The Shelf Awards in 2001 they have grown and developed, but there was one thing I was determined would never change – they would always be free to enter. Neither the graduates nor their universities would pay a single penny to take part. I have been driven to organise every facet of The Shelf Awards because I believe in them and I believe in supporting young creatives. I can give my time for free but other things need hard cash. Venues for the event in central London don’t come cheap. Wine and beer for over 100 guests need to be paid for. There’s software for coordinating the entry process, collateral for the event such as voting forms and guests’ ID badges and branded T-shirts for the graduates so everybody knows who they are. And, of course, there are the shelves, they might be a bit of fun but Argos doesn’t give them away.

In the early years of The Shelf Awards I was able to cover all of these costs through the creative agencies that I was fortunate enough to run. Since becoming an independent consultant I have relied upon the generous support of a range of sponsors, and to these people and companies I am exceptionally grateful. However, I appreciate times are tough, even in the creative industries. Each year it has got a little more difficult to secure the funds. At the time of writing I have one sponsor. And me. Together we cannot get even close to covering the aforementioned costs.

So, The Shelf Awards won’t be happening this year.

Since The Shelf Awards began I have been proud to help around 170 graduates get into the creative industry. I would like to have helped another dozen this year. The graduates seem to think The Shelf Awards are a good idea (here’s what 2013 winners Max Maclean and Ran Stallard have to say about how participating helped their careers). And judging by the guest list every year creative agencies think they’re a good idea too to unearth new talent to hire, as do recruiters who are exposed to amazing young people to put in front of their clients.

I sincerely hope this isn’t the end of The Shelf Awards. I’d like to think that this time next year I will be inundated with creative work from young hopefuls again. Who knows, with a little help from a few friends we might even be able to do a late show before the end of the year.

For now I will leave you with the line that sums up what The Shelf Awards is all about, Supporting the creative talent of the future.

Gary Sharpen, founder The Shelf Awards.

 

Find out more about The Shelf Awards.

Some winners of The Shelf Awards in recent years

The Shelf Awards Winners 2014: Sophia Johnson and Sophie Szilady, Bucks New University

Winners 2014: Sophia Johnson and Sophie Szilady, Bucks New University

The Shelf Awards Winners 2013: Max Maclean and Ran Stallard, the School of Communication Arts

Winners 2013: Max Maclean and Ran Stallard, the School of Communication Arts

The Shelf Awards Winners 2012: Martin Headon and Olly Wood, School of Communication Arts

Winners 2012: Martin Headon and Olly Wood, School of Communication Arts

Jun 282014
 
The Shelf Awards 2014 winners, Sophia Johnson and Sophie Szilady, receive that all important pice of wood from founder Gary Sharpen

2014 winners, Sophia Johnson and Sophie Szilady, receive that all important piece of wood from The Shelf Awards founder Gary Sharpen

So, we’ve completed The Shelf Awards for another year. 12 very talented graduates spent a hectic evening, presenting, networking and generally impressing a very demanding audience of media experts. And these same experts also had the final say when it came to voting for the overall winners. As the founder of The Shelf Awards I’m pleased and proud to make a few observations on the 14th year of this unique programme. Continue reading »

Jun 212014
 

During the 14 year history of The Shelf Awards there are many things of which we are proud. Mainly that we have helped support over 150 graduates get started in their creative careers. We are also very proud that we’ve been able to do this without charging them or their universities a single penny.

Quite simply we believe that students and universities face an increasingly demanding financial burden. That’s why The Shelf Awards always have been free to enter. And they always will be. For this reason we would like to say a very big thank you to the supporters of The Shelf Awards, the people who help us to make it happen. Continue reading »

Jun 212014
 
Ran Stallard and Max Maclean, The Shelf Awards Winners 2013

Ran Stallard and Max Maclean, The Shelf Awards Winners 2013

“Looking back, we see The Shelf Awards as a catalyst for our career…we came away with an ability to sell ourselves as well as our ideas, that ultimately helped us get a job.”

The Shelf Awards are now in there 14th year. How does it feel to take part? How does it feel to win and pick up The Shelf itself? Last year’s winners, Ran Stallard and Max Maclean, give us the graduates’ view. Continue reading »

Jun 142014
 

The universities have submitted the best of their graduates. And we done the sifting. A lot of sifting. The standards were high and the decisions were tough. But we have our shortlist. The six creative teams that make up the shortlist for The Shelf Awards 2014.

The Shelf Awards 2014

Sophia Johnson and Sophie Szilady

Harriet Ronn and John Ogunmuyiwa

Lavan Jeyarupalingam and Kiefer McKenzie

Will Wright and James Lucking, School of Communication Arts

The Shelf Awards 2014

Tristan Lenczner and Simon Carr, University of Gloucestershire

Chloe Bishop and Christina Worman

The creative teams that will be contesting The Shelf Awards 2014 are:

Sophia Johnson and Sophie Szilady
Harriet Ronn and John Ogunmuyiwa
Bucks New University
Course Leader Julie Wright

Lavan Jeyarupalingam and Kiefer McKenzie
Will Wright and James Lucking
School of Communication Arts
Course Leader Marc Lewis

Tristan Lenczner and Simon Carr
University of Gloucestershire
Course Leader Frank Holmes

Chloe Bishop and Christina Worman
University of Lincoln
Course Leader Giles Lingwood

The graduates will be joining us at The Shelf Awards 2014 on 24 June in London where they will get the opportunity to showcase their work and network with an audience of specially invited guests including leading creative directors, copywriters, art directors, recruiters and other industry experts.

In the past this opportunity has led to all-important work placements. In turn these have also led to full time employment.

The winning graduates on the night, uniquely selected by the votes of the guests themselves, will also receive the coveted Shelf – so called because the winners will be able to use it to display the awards they will no doubt be picking up in their future careers.

Please joining us in congratulating the graduates who have made the shortlist for The Shelf Awards 2014.

You can find out more about The Shelf Awards here and by dropping us a line.

May 152014
 

The Shelf Awards

The Shelf Awards are coming. We’re in our 14th year. We’re calling for entries. We’re partnering up with supporters. And most importantly of all we’re once again supporting the creative talent of the future. Whether you’re a graduate or university looking to enter, or you want to show your support here’s what you need to know.

Continue reading »

Jun 282013
 
The Shelf Awards 2013 Winners Ran Stallard and Max Maclean receive The Shelf from founder Gary Sharpen

Winners Ran Stallard & Max Maclean receive The Shelf from founder Gary Sharpen

The Shelf Awards are completed for another year. And we’re happy to echo the sentiments of one regular guest who commented “the work was perhaps the best the awards have ever showcased”. Not bad considering this was our 13th year. Continue reading »

Jun 262013
 
The Shelf Awards 2012 Winners 2012, Martin Headon and Olly Wood, receive their Shelf from the founder Gary Sharpen

The Shelf Awards Winners 2012, Martin Headon and Olly Wood, receive their Shelf from the founder Gary Sharpen

The Shelf Awards 2012 were won by Martin Headon and Olly Wood from the School of Communication Arts in London. We’re happy to say they will be joining us as guests this year. In the meantime here’s what they told us it felt like to take part in The Shelf Awards. Continue reading »

Jun 252013
 

The Shelf Awards 2013 are almost here. Every year since they began back in 2001 they have helped a new generation of talent to get started in the creative industry – over 140 graduates in fact. And one of things of which we are most proud is that The Shelf Awards have always been free to enter, both for the graduates themselves and their universities. And it’s thanks to our supporters, who donate time, expertise and financial help, that we are able to keep them free. So we would like to say a very big thank you to the following supporters of The Shelf Awards. Continue reading »

Jun 202013
 

The Shelf Awards 2013 will be taking place Thursday 27 June in Central London. Once again we will be offering our support to graduates as they start out in the creative industry. Here are the graduates who have made the shortlist and a taster of the work they will be showing off:

Tom Reas and Chris Hill

Tom Reas and Chris Hill

Anna Brailey and Ollie Jarrott

Anna Brailey and Ollie Jarrott

Tom Bender and Tom Corcoran

Tom Bender and Tom Corcoran

 

Ran Stallard and Max Maclean

Ran Stallard and Max Maclean

 

The Shelf Awards 2013 Shortlist Charlotte Alcock and Annie Crooks

Charlotte Alcock and Annie Crooks

Gemma Dickens and Liz Tarrent

Gemma Dickens and Liz Tarrent

The Shelf Awards 2013 Shortlist

Tom Reas and Chris Hill
Anna Brailey and Ollie Jarrott
Bucks New University
Third Year Leader Julie Wright

Tom Bender and Tom Corcoran
Ran Stallard and Max Maclean
School of Communication Arts
Course Leader Marc Lewis

Charlotte Alcock and Annie Crooks
Staffordshire University, Visual Design
Course Leader Sarah Rushton

Gemma Dickens and Liz Tarrent
Staffordshire University, Advertising and Brand Management
Course Leader Paul Flemming / Senior Lecturer John Hudson

We look forward to the graduates joining us at The Shelf Awards 2013 where they will be showcasing their work and networking with an audience of specially invited guests including leading creative directors, copywriters, art directors, recruiters and other industry experts.

This opportunity can lead to all-important work placements. In turn these lead to full time employment.

And the winning graduates on the night, uniquely selected by the votes of the guests themselves, will also receive the coveted Shelf – so called because the winners will be able to use it to display the awards they will no doubt be picking up in their future careers.

Please joining us in congratulating the graduates who have made the shortlist for The Shelf Awards 2013.

You can find out more about The Shelf Awards here and by dropping us a line.