Saturday, 6 June 2015

A.E. (After ELTons 2015)

Hello all!
Well I'm back from London after the emotional and glamorous evening that was British Council & Macmillan's Education's ELTons Awards 2015.
For those of you who are just reading this blog (or have forgotten), I entered my EFL teaching project, Gridmasters: Mytera's Fortress, a fantasy-themed role playing game inspired by games like Fighting Fantasy and Dungeons & Dragons, designed to help learners practice their English skills and put them into practice. You can find the video of the full awards night here (My interview is around the beginning of the video, after the 20 minute mark I think)

Alas, I did not win (I was in the New Talent in Writing category), and to be frank it was only when the result was announced that I realised how much it really meant to me. I ended up feeling sad for not winning and guilty for not just being happy to have got as far as the shortlist on my own steam.

After the ceremony had finished there was an after-party reception where all the winners, losers and everyone else in between mingled and laughed and chatted over glasses of various alcoholic substances which I don't drink.
Armed with a glass of apple juice and a pen, I decided to try some mingling myself. For about 30 minutes this consisted in me wandering around the room, a-la Bridget Jones, desperately trying to insert myself into conversations, before being put off by sudden outbursts of raucous laughter or exclamations of 'Oh yes that reminds of...'

Eventually I managed to speak to a few fellow nominees and exchange contacts. These conversations were very heartening and hopefully will prove fruitful. It is still my intention to make Gridmasters a reality.
Anyway, all-in-all it was an enjoyable, terrifying and surreal experience and I find myself wondering sometimes if it wasn't all just a dream.

A massive thank you goes out to everyone who helped me get this far and also to Dawn Clarkson, whose marvelous pattern design for my waistcoat and tie actually caught the attention of the first nominee I chatted to. Without it, I'd probably have gone away with a unused pen and a bladder full of apple juice.

Me being interviewed: notice how expertly I back away from the microphone, whilst simultaneously try to retreat, tortoise-like, into the folds of my jacket and shirt.

Wearing a Dawn Clarkson waistcoat


CyberKitten said...

Congratulations on being short-listed! Sorry about not winning though....! But, hey... You were short listed!!!!

Thomas Fummo said...

Thanks! I was going through the exact same thought process the whole night :D