The Graham S. Brand Award

Graham Brand PhotoThe Graham S. Brand Award is presented each October to a student on the University of Westminster’s Media Course and is given for writing and directing the best radio feature of the year.

The award is given in memory of Graham Brand, a former student of the University, who sadly died when he was just 27. Graham was my best mate and writing partner when I first began scribbling stories many years ago. Graham and I co-wrote hundreds of pages of comics together for titles including ‘Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight’ for DC Comics in New York, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Dr Who Monthly, 2000AD, and many others.

The posthumous award was set up by Graham’s parents, Sheila and Pinky Brand, and myself. It’s a nice way to remember my much-missed friend. It also helps make sure that his name and work lives on at his old University where he spent three very happy years earning his BA (Hons). The cash award that goes with it is designed to be a small help to someone on their way to a career in writing.

Graham Brand cowrote a Batman Legends of the Dark Knight storyEntries are usually about ten minutes in length. Past winners have made radio features on subjects such as ‘Mudlarks on the Thames’, ‘Tin Pan Alley’, ‘Afternoon Tea’, and Mrs Brand’s all time favourite (so far) ‘Roof Gardens of London’. The judges are Mrs Brand and myself and it’s always a pleasure to listen to the five features on the short list. The best known winner on the Roll of Honour (so far) is Danny Wallace, best selling author and star of screen and shelf.

The award couldn’t exist without the continued help of radio course leader, Dr Matthew Linfoot, who organises the whole thing with extraordinary grace and care.

ROLL OF HONOUR

2016 Rich Dent
2015 Cassie Galpin @CassieGalpin
2014 Ryan-Lee Robinson
2013 Adam Allinson @Adam_Allinson
2012 Nora Stout @NoraStout22
2011 Darby Dorras @darbydorras
2010 Jamie King
2009 Dan Roberts
2008 Sirin Hassan
2007 Sarah Thompson
2006 Mark Jackson
2005 Melanie Spence
2004 Sophie Simpson
2003 Lisa Taylor
2002 Viazmelya Monray Hernandez
2001 Kevin Pearce
2000 Danny Rose
1999 Georgina Mavrommatis
1998 Danny Wallace @DannyWallace
1997 Abigail Abban-Mensah
1996 Rebecca Burbidge
Image from The Amulet of Samarkand

Where I can I like to add in a little tribute to Graham into whatever I’m working on. Can you spot his name remembered here in this two page spread drawn by Lee Sullivan from the graphic novel, The Amulet of Samarkand?

AD, Mrs Brand, and 2016 winner, Rich Dent.

AD, Mrs Brand, and 2016 winner, Rich Dent.

With the 2015 winner, Cassie Galpin.

With the 2015 winner, Cassie Galpin.

Ryan Lee Robinsoon

Ryan-Lee Robertson – the 2014 winner.