Billy Schuerman, 21, a senior journalism major with an emphasis in print at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media, was recently announced as a winner in the FUJIFILM Create Forever Students of Storytelling Contest. We asked Schuerman a few questions about his winning submission.
When did you hear about this contest? What prompted you to enter it?
I heard about this contest from Professor Mike Fagans just before spring break, but it didn’t open until May. I had a few projects in mind that I was looking to start, but I thought they would be optimal for this grant.
For those who don’t know what the contest is, how would you describe it?
It is a storytelling grant for students. I was awarded $3,000 in FUJIFILM photo equipment to work on my project.
What was your entry about? What did you propose?
The purpose of my story is to document the struggles that people suffering from substance abuse disorder are subject to while stuck in quarantine. The social isolation puts them at a much greater risk of relapsing.
How did you feel when you were selected as one of the winners? How many winners were there?
I was elated when I found out I won. I was on the couch in the living room and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the email notification come across my screen. At first I thought it was a spam email coming through. I think they selected just a handful of winners out of the hundreds of applicants.
How do you envision doing your project? When will you start?
Hopefully, I will be able to start in July. I will be reaching out to groups around Mississippi looking for sources until then.
What advice would you give other students about entering competitions and putting yourself out there?
Just enter whatever contest you come across because you never know what you will win. It is about the percentages, so if you get 1% of the awards you apply to, then apply to 100 and you will get at least one.Tags: Billy Schuerman, FUJIFILM, photo contest, University of Mississippi, University of Mississippi School of Journaism and New Media