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Friday, January 8, 2010



WRITING AWARDS FOR UNDER 26s/19s/15s - £3,125 in prizes and the opportunity to be published




The Wills Young Writers’ Awards, to be launched tomorrow, have been hailed as ‘a terrific opportunity to get your name in print and win extremely handsome pocket money’ by Brough Scott, Chairman of the judges for the eighth successive year.

The annual awards, started in 1993 in memory of journalist and amateur jockey Martin Wills, are for creative writing around a horseracing theme. The judges have to pick from three categories: under 26, under 19 and under 15, each of which offers substantial prizes, the main one being £1,250.


Previous winners have gone on to write for the national and racing press, news agencies and broadcast media.

This year’s seven judges include three first timers, all of them successful journalists: Charlie Brooks, Countryside Editor of The Daily Telegraph and former trainer; Mark Costello, Deputy Editor of The Irish Field, Ireland’s leading racing and breeding weekly newspaper; and Brian Viner, a senior features writer and columnist for The Independent, who is also a best-selling author. Viner, whose latest book ‘Nice to See It, To See It, Nice: The 1970s in Front of the Telly’, which is now out in paperback, says ‘It is great to be part of something which gives young people opportunities. This is a tremendous way to get yourself noticed and I advise you to get your entries in early.’

The awards are for creative writing (fact or fiction) on, or with a background in, any aspect of horseracing by young people resident in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. Particular importance will be attached by the judges to originality, imagination, conviction, entertainment, construction and use of language, as well as obvious enthusiasm for both writing and the subject matter. Quality of writing is key; a detailed knowledge of horseracing is unnecessary.

Those aged under 26/19/15 on January 1, 2010, are invited to submit a single article by February 28, 2010, via the “Entry Requirements” section of the Awards’ website www.willswritingawards.co.uk. Employees of the national and racing press and previous winners in their category are ineligible. Entries are judged anonymously.

The maximum word counts are 1,200 (under 26s/19s) or 800 (under 15s).


The article must not be published prior to the announcement of the winners of the awards. No correspondence will be entered into and the judges’ decision is final. Schools should please not submit more than three entries per class.



The six prizes, for the winner and runner-up in each category, are £1,250/£750 (under 26s), £500/£250 (under 19s) and £250/£125 (under 15s). In addition, the winners will be published in the Racing Post and The Irish Field. The under 26 winner will also have the opportunity of work experience at the London offices of the Racing Post.


The awards will be announced and presented at the Craven Meeting at Newmarket on Wednesday, April 14, 2010, when all six prize winners will be given an expenses paid day’s racing, including a reception in a private luncheon room generously made available by the Racecourse. There will also be a tour of two leading stables.


This year’s judges are: Brough Scott (Chairman), three-time Sports Feature Writer of the Year and for many years simultaneously a sports writer on a national newspaper, Editorial Director of the Racing Post and chief presenter of Channel 4 Racing; Marcus Armytage, racing writer at The Daily Telegraph and Grand National winning jockey; Charlie Brooks; Mark Costello; Sean Magee, a versatile racing author and journalist; Brian Viner; and Catherine Wills, DPhil Art Historian sister of Martin Wills and a member of the Jockey Club. Brough Scott, Marcus Armytage and Catherine Wills are additionally trustees of the promoter of the awards, the Martin Wills Memorial Trust, a UK registered charity.


For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive


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