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Feature writer’s 16-year losing streak continues at regional awards

Roger LytollisAn unlucky feature writer wants to hear from other journalists who can match his awards losing streak.

Roger Lytollis, left, who writes for Carlisle daily the News & Star, was shortlisted for his 11th North West Media Award without winning at last week’s ceremony in Chester.

Roger was first shortlisted in 2000, initially for the Young Journalist prize.

He has since been nominated unsuccessfully 10 times for its feature writer accolade, including six times in the last seven years.

Upon being shortlisted for the award in February this year, Roger wrote a light-hearted column for the News & Star’s CN Group-owned sister magazine Carlisle Living in which he compared his streak to that of actor Peter O’Toole, who recorded eight unsuccessful Oscar nominations over the course of his career.

After his latest setback, Roger told HTFP: “I’m disappointed, but I can’t say I’m surprised when it’s happened 10 times before. I was first shortlisted in 2000. When I didn’t win people said ‘Never mind – maybe next year.’ They’re still saying that 16 years later.

“It is a bit surreal that the same thing happens nearly every year. I can usually laugh about it but at times it’s frustrating. I know that being shortlisted so often is an achievement. But I can’t really put ‘Failed to win at the North West Media Awards 11 times’ on my CV.

“My colleagues have had plenty of fun with this over the years. Last week someone said the organisers should play Beck’s song Loser when I go on stage to collect my runner-up certificate.”

Roger has had some success elsewhere, and is a three-time winner at the Regional Press Awards.

But he added: “I’d be interested to hear if any other journalist – or anyone in any job – can match my losing streak. I’ll just keep trying to write good stuff and hope that one day I’ll win, although I’m not holding my breath.”

His CN Group colleagues fared better at Thursday’s ceremony, held in Chester.

The Cumberland News was named Best Weekly newspaper, Phil Coleman was named News Reporter of the Year for Print Journalists, Jon Colman took the sports reporter title and Cumbria Life won in the magazines category.


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  • November 16, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Cheer up, Roger…at least you won something along the way. In my time at the Manchester Evening News, I was shortlisted a total of seven times as a feature writer and columnist in the Regional Press Awards and the North West awards. Not once did I enjoy that victor’s walk to the podium.
    On one memorable occasion, I was the designated driver when the North West awards ceremony was held in Wigan. I ended up ferrying home a colleague who was full of champagne having won the award in the very same category for which I had been shortlisted. Grrr!

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  • November 16, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Amusingly glum expression.
    Eleven nominations is good going – and 11 tickets to a good booze up.

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  • November 16, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Poor old Rog. His prose has a musical quality and his approach is wonderfully different – those judges have never known a good ‘un when they see one, in my opinion.

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  • November 16, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Maybe a case of 13th time lucky, Roger. Never give up, that’s my motto in life.

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  • November 17, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Fear not sir!
    often the award winners are the next names on the list to go

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