CHOMP!, Food, media, school, Toronto

Chomp! Magazine: My IPAO award-winning magazine

AWARD-WINNING MAGAZINE: Left to right, front row are journalism students Tevy Pilc (with what’s left of his home-brought kosher meal… while everyone else had steak), Katrina Rozal and Maxx Smith. Back row, left to right are journalism professor Ellin Bessner and Barry Finn of the IPAO.

It’s not everyday you win an award, and even though that day was quite a while ago, you can’t blame me for wanting to publicize my happiness, which came as a result of the hard work put in to make it happen (or something like that…)

During the frustrating months of September-December 2009 (for me it didn’t really end until this past June…. I’ll explain why in a different post… eventually), three journalism classmates and I embarked on a strenuous journey, which resulted in the creation of one fine-looking magazine. The project, which was primarily done as a semester-long course assignment, was to create an authentic magazine – one that could realistically be produced to the public as a bona fide production in the future (aka – if we really wanted to, we could actually take it public and make some money off it, but for now it’ll be an our “thesis” and will look really good on our resumes).

As a result of our efforts, we received an award from the Independent Publisher Association of Ontario (IPAO), which recognized Chomp! Magazine as the top magazine of our class!

Everything in the magazine – and I mean everything – including all content, stories, photos, designs, page layouts, videos, audio bites and other page art, etc. you name it… would come directly from only us four.

No extra-help (besides the guidance and advise of our professors and other mentors) was allowed for the making of the magazine. Not even a piece of cover art produced by an outside source was allowed to find its way on the magazine – an example we discovered the hard way (and had to change at the last-minute…)

And so between the four of us, we wrote all the stories, took every photo, designed every page, made every video, & every little detail (even which printing press to go to and actually make the damn thing look like a real magazine) within the span of three and a half months. The result was an amazing 12-page magazine, a fanc flash website, and the usual networking pages attached (Facebook, Twitter, You Tube), and most importantly a fantastic overall experience (minus the therapy treatments for yours truly 😉

We worked our butts off to make this awesome. And although I only speak for myself, I’m certain neither of us will shy away from displaying just freaking how proud we are of our work.

What we came up with was CHOMP!, a student-made publication geared towards addressing the issues and politics that surround food in GTA-based universities. Inside you’ll find a wide variety of stories and subjects surrounding everything food, which appeal to the GTA university student. Issues such where can you find food on campus, information food-related student groups, feature stories and profiles on unique perspectives on how students manage their diets – including my personal favourite story of how a Queens’ University student managed to get a kosher meal plan provided by the school – are just a sample of the great material we put into this magazine.

In addition to the award, the four of us were treated to a free steak dinner (except yours truly, Captain Kosher, who brought some food from home of course) where we got to meet a number of highly touted personalities from the IPAO and the magazine industry. It was great opportunity to not only give thanks for the award, but also to show off our hard work and learn a few things from the experts.

We were even featured on the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus website, where our story was linked from the school’s homepage:

Our professor Ellin Bessner also wrote a small piece on her blog, which you can find here:

And of course, here’s a link to our magazine’s website, where you’ll find all our content:

None of this could have been possible without the outstanding teamwork and support of my fellow partners in crime: Lauren Hummel, Katrina Rozal & Maxx Smith. Thanks for everything!

Here’s a little web promo for the magazine posted below:


1 thought on “Chomp! Magazine: My IPAO award-winning magazine”

  1. You guys worked your tails off…and today while at a Bar mitzvah in Richmond Hill, an environmental reporter for the Chicago Tribune told me she had seen your magazine and was impressed by it! Keep up the great work and you should really try to take this thing further. Best wishes.

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