As readers over the last year have seen, Link has strived to provide a robust variety in our content. That is a task often easier said than done. Thankfully, we were aided by the extraordinary talents of so many wonderful contributors this year. Among them, Nelson Ellis and Kathleen (Katie) Dalziel stood out as our most dedicated and talented writers of this academic year. The editors of Link Magazine are so proud to award them the shared honour of the 2020/2021 Silver Pen Award. This award is granted to contributors whose writing has continuously demonstrated the highest level of quality and community impact.
Nelson, a Radio Production student at BCIT, recently finished his final practicum and is heading off into the workforce. His writing this year has focused on theatre, community, mental health, and relationships.
Katie is heading into her final year of a Project Management degree. Her writing has encouraged us all to empathize with those around us. She said that while writing for Link was a wonderful experience it was not exactly what she expected to do in her free time.
“I was looking to do some sort of extracurricular and this was an interesting year to be going back to school, so it just seemed like a great opportunity.”
Nelson said that for him, the greatest benefit was building experience and a little profile.
“It’s been nice to have a lot of choice over the topics I am picking, while also getting constructive criticism and feedback. So, in the end I feel like I am able to express myself better creatively and professionally. And [the] times I got to interview people and get their voice out, has been really cool for me.”
Despite loving all his articles, Nelson said his favourite was the first one he wrote this year, Theatre and the Mind.
“To write about something that was so important to me, so personal to me, and then have other people see it and recognize and acknowledge; it was a very special feeling.”
Katie felt that despite the challenges of telling effective stories in a short space, the end product was always rewarding. She strived to humanize the experiences of people living with disabilities in her writing including her article “Beauty and the Temporarily Abled”.
“It was super challenging to distil that kind of material into five hundred, seven hundred words. But I think it was useful to think about and communicate a complex idea or history in a limited space.”
Though that may have been her most impactful piece, her favourite has been the article she wrote for our summer edition on some good summer reads.
While it was challenging at times, both contributors spoke to the value that taking part in Link or other community programs or clubs can have for students.
Nelson hoped that students would be willing to embrace the opportunities available at BCIT. Not only was his experience with Link skill building, it was a way to connect in a completely disconnected year.
“I won this award, so you never know what will happen.”
Nelson said that he was not sure what the future held for him, but he was excited to start his radio career and maybe take on a new writing project such as starting a website where he can share some thoughts and experiences.
Katie said that her time with Link was not only a way for her to engage with complex issues but also improved her critical thinking skills.
“I always admire careful writing, and I think that requires careful thinking. So those are two skills I will use forever.”
Katie’s said “It can be frightening to try something new, but everyone, at least at Link, is super encouraging.”
From the entire Link Magazine team, we want to thank Nelson and Katie for all the tremendous and thought-provoking work over the last year.
Jonah van Driesum is the senior editor of Link, and co-host of our the MicroLink podcast!