Art by Rianne Rowlands, page design by Mark McIlmail 

Every year, through our Print Futures Awards, we give talented young people grants of up to £1500 to go towards their career development. This year we had 44 very deserving winners with promising careers in the print, publishing, paper, packaging and graphic arts sectors. 

Grace Balfour-Harle was a winner in the developing specialist skills category this year. We spoke to her about her role at DC Thomson and the work she does as Editorial Assistant at Beano comic

Developing a love of writing through creating content for magazines from a young age, Grace knew her passion lay in journalism. As a massive Beano fan growing up, she had to apply when a job working on the comic came up, and the rest is now history.

Pranking is synonymous with the legendary comic. Every week, as part of her role, Grace writes a new prank to be featured as rebellious content and to date has written over 100 pranks. She has written scripts for a number of the comic’s recurrent characters, including Billy Whizz, The Bash Street Kids, JJ and Number 13. 

Throughout the lockdown period, Grace told us it’s been Beano As Usual in Beano HQ, producing the weekly comic as normal, just working from home. A greater emphasis on things for kids to do whilst being indoors has certainly reflected in the content Grace produces for the comic. “It’s meant more activities, puzzles, and games in our feature content. We wanted Beano to remain a constant source of fun and normality and escape for our readers during this incredibly anxious time.”

Grace loves the connection she has with Beano readers through her work on its competitions, readers pages and scripts. “You find out what makes the readers tick, and seeing the positive effect that Beano has on their lives is truly inspiring. The parents that write in and thank us have said that for their children, the regularity of Beano has been a source of positivity, light and happiness in a very tough time.”

The 2020 Print Futures Awards are now closed. You can see all of our winners here and find out about the 2021 awards by signing up to our newsletter.