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Regional daily columnist laments record awards losing streak

Roger LytollisA regional feature writer and columnist has written a light-hearted lament on his incredible awards losing streak.

Roger Lytollis, who writes for Carlisle daily the News & Star, as well as the Cumberland News, has shared his dismay at being shortlisted for a North West Media Award 10 times in 15 years without ever winning.

Most recently, Roger , pictured left, was up for the Feature Writer of the Year category at the awards’ 2015 edition – his ninth nomination in that field.

He also received one nomination in the Young Journalist of the Year field at the awards, currently sponsored by O2.

In a column for the CN Group-owned titles’ sister magazine Carlisle Living, Roger compared his losing streak to that of late actor Peter O’Toole – who recorded eight unsuccessful Oscar nominations over the course of his career.

O’Toole, a former photographic assistant with the Yorkshire Evening Post, was later given an honorary Oscar in 2002.

In Roger’s tongue-in-cheek piece, he wrote: “Of course I’m not saying that my snubs at a regional journalism bash should be compared with those of Hollywood legends at the Oscars. That’s for history to decide.

“Whenever I lose I always try and look pleased for whichever bastard has beaten me. As the years have gone by it’s become like trying to twist a corpse’s face into a smile. Ironically, my tenth attempt earned me an Oscar nomination. I didn’t win.

“Maybe I could be given an award to recognise the number of times I’ve failed to win an award? I’m not proud. I’ll happily be pitied or patronised if it gets me a trophy and Simply The Best playing as I swagger to the stage.

“I remain convinced that I have been the victim of a conspiracy. Well, ten conspiracies. The possibility that I’ve never deserved to win is one I always manage to dismiss. I will, of course, be entering again this year. You know the old saying – eleventh time lucky.”

Away from the North-West of England, Roger has had better luck nationally – having won several awards including Weekly Feature Writer of the Year three times at the Regional Press Awards.


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  • February 4, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Roger, I feel your pain. In 31 years with the Manchester Evening News, I had five shortlistings in the Regional Press Awards, sundry nominations in the North West awards and at the end of it…not a sausage.
    The most telling validation of all my hard work came the day that, on my way home from a day spent crafting deathless prose, I bought fish and chips, only to find they’d been wrapped up in one of my features.

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  • February 4, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Well said Paul. There’s nothing more grounding than writing a superb splash and watching everyone in the pub pick up the paper, ignore it and turn straight to the racing pages, TV , or whatever.

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