£3,500 in prizes, including £500 for a new tweeting competition
Jilly Cooper and Brough Scott with the 2014 Wills Writing Awards winners
“I was thrilled to be involved in the Martin Wills Awards in 2014 and thought the winning articles were absolutely marvellous. I believe passionately in encouraging writing talent in young people - and what better subject than horses and racing!"
Jilly Cooper OBE
The Wills Writing Awards, which launched in 1993 in memory of journalist and amateur jockey Martin Wills, are now in their 23rd year. An innovation for 2015 is a competition for the best tweet, which reflects the changing times and the level of breaking news that is now delivered by this medium.
Brough Scott says:
“These awards ask a simple question of any young writer - are you up for it? Because if you are, here is a fantastic opportunity of putting yourself on the map. Take it seriously, be informed as well as inventive, and the rewards will be great in terms of both prestige and lucre!”
The Awards are for fine writing (fact or fiction) on a horseracing theme of a sort suitable for publication in the Racing Post or The Irish Field by young people resident in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. The Awards have three categories: under 26, under 19 and under 15.
Those aged under 26/19/15 on 1 January 2015 are invited to submit a single typewritten article by 28 February 2015 via the ‘Entry Requirements’ section of the Awards’ website www.willswritingawards.co.uk. Employees of the national and racing press, in a journalistic capacity, and previous winners in their category are ineligible. Entries are judged anonymously.
A detailed knowledge of horseracing is unnecessary. No previous experience of published or competitive writing is required. Entrants are strongly advised to consult the FAQs (in the Awards section of the website) as well as the ‘Lines of Brilliance’ section and the Feedback press releases 2007-14 (in the News section).
The permissible word counts are 800-1,000 (under 26s/19s) and 500-600 (under 15s) - a reduction from previous years.
The article must not be published prior to the announcement of the winners of the Awards.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 not submit more than three entries per class.
The six prizes, for the winner and runner-up in each category of the main competition, are £1,000/£500 (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 have the opportunity of work experience at the Racing Post and the option to retain for a year an attractive bronze of two galloping horses.
The new @WillsAwards Racing Tweet competition should focus on a non-fictional subject connected to racing. The tweet should be submitted to @willsawards #comp using the 121 remaining characters only and tweeted anytime until 28February 2015. It should be in the participant’s own words and not lifted from any existing writing on racing. Example 1: @willsawards #comp At Ascot, winter was drawing in, but it could not dim the light around Sir Henry Cecil Example 2: @willsawards #comp 300 years of selective breeding had not been in vain #Frankel
There should only be one entry per person and the entrant should be under the age of 26 on 1 January 2015 and resident in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. The judging panel will select the winning entry, which carries a prize of £500.
The prizes will be presented at Newmarket’s prestigious Craven Meeting on Wednesday 15 April 2015, when all seven prize winners will be given an expenses paid day’s racing, including a reception in a private luncheon room generously made available by Jockey Club Racecourses. There will also be a tour of James Fanshawe’s historic Pegasus Stables, built by Fred Archer.
This year’s eight judges are: Brough Scott (Chairman), three times Sports Feature Writer of the Year and twice Racing Writer of the Year; Marcus Armytage, racing correspondent for The Daily Telegraph and Horse & Hound and Grand National winning jockey in record time; Oli Bell, one of the main presenters with Racing UK; Sophia Brudenell, Communications Manager for the South West Region of Jockey Club Racecourses; William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course at York Racecourse; Sean Magee, a versatile journalist and author; Peter Thomas, a senior features writer for the Racing Post; and Catherine Wills, Martin Wills’ sister, who is also a leading authority on the eminent Victorian portrait painter Sir Francis Grant PRA and a racehorse owner and breeder.
The Martin Wills Memorial Trust is a UK registered charity which commemorates Martin Wills, an amateur jockey, point-to-point rider and journalist, who died in April 1992, aged 39. Information on the Awards is available at www.willswritingawards.co.uk and also via Facebook - Wills-Writing-Awards and Twitter @WillsAwards.
For further information, please contact Liz Ampairee on 07733-331 945, firstname.lastname@example.org or Charles Ponsonby on 01993- 811 717, email@example.com or, in Ireland, Jack Cantillon on 08575- 70103, firstname.lastname@example.org and Andrew Kavanagh on 05997- 73105, email@example.com.
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