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Student shortlisted for Puffin Books prize

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An illustration for a popular children’s book about rival teenage gangs has landed a student with a chance to win £1000 and work experience at iconic British publisher Puffin Books.

20-year-old Sam Hardwick, of Parkgate, has been shortlisted for the 2014 Puffin Children’s Prize in an annual competition run by Penguin Books.

Penguin is the parent company of Puffin Books, the largest publisher of children’s books in the UK, which has released stories such as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Charlotte’s Web.

Students were invited to design a new cover look for The Outsiders, first published more than 40 years ago, in order to bring the book to a new generation of readers.

The story, penned by SE Hinton, follows the lives of two rival gangs, the Socs’ and the Greasers, who clash over their differences while failing to realise how similar they both are.

Sam used this clash as inspiration for his cover design, two contrasting styles merged together to form one jacket.

“I can’t believe I’ve made the shortlist, it came as a big shock,” said Sam, who is studying graphic design and multimedia. “I was at uni working with one of my friends who checked the competition website and saw my name was listed.

“It didn’t really sink in until I got home later on and saw how far I’d got and what the next stage was.I’m really looking forward to seeing the other students’ designs and, as for the possibly of work experience at Penguin – that would be tremendous.”

Sam was given some initial feedback following his first submission and then had a week to improve his design and secure his place on the shortlist.All of the work was completed using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Sam finds out whether he has won at a ceremony in London on Wednesday 18 June, and believes that success in the competition would provide a massive boost for his career ahead of his graduation in 2016.

Sam said:“Ever since primary school I wanted to be an artist and I got into graphic design by the time I reached secondary school.

“I think my ultimate aim is to work within the game design but I’d like to learn about other areas of the industry along the way, such as branding and advertising.

“I came to Glynd┼Ár University because the course here was a lot more focused on getting you that job at the end of your course, and the opportunities I’ve had through the Puffin competition have already proved that to be the case.”
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