over £3,000 in prizes
Brough Scott, Chairman of the Judges for the 15th year, with the 2016 winners
Entries open today for the 25th and last Martin Wills Writing Awards; they close on 28 February 2017.
For the second time, the Martin Wills Memorial Trust is organising the Awards in association with two other registered charities. These are the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art (the successor to the National Horseracing Museum) and Racing to School (formerly BHEST- the British Horseracing Education & Standards Trust).
Brough Scott, Chairman of the judges for the 15th successive year, says:
“Racing has inspired writers down the ages. These Awards have kept the flame alive.”
Chris Garibaldi, Director of the National Heritage Centre, says:
“We are delighted to be working with the Martin Wills Writing Awards for their final year. Horseracing has a wonderful way of capturing the imagination of many writers and over the years these Awards have uncovered some very powerful, moving prose. We will continue to try to inspire young people throughout the National Heritage Centre at Palace House through our collections, paintings, interactives and of course the former racehorses. The purpose built Alborada Trust Education Centre provides a new space for learning and is a fantastic asset for learners of all ages to what is already on offer across the Centre’s five acre site.”
John Blake, Chief Executive of Racing to School, says:
“For a quarter of a century the Martin Wills Writing Awards have challenged and inspired creativity in young people. All those who have submitted work have been brought closer to horseracing, and with eight prizes on offer and a unique showcase for the winners, the quality of past entries is certain to be maintained. The education charity Racing to School is honoured to be associated with what has become an institution and a wonderful opportunity for young people to express themselves through thought-provoking and entertaining writing.”
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 four categories: under 26, under 18, under 15 and under 12. The winners and the schools attended by the winners of the three younger categories will also receive a trophy.
Those aged under 26/18/15/12 on 1September 2016 are invited to submit a single typewritten article via the ‘Entry Requirements’ section of the Awards’ website www.willswritingawards.co.uk.
Employees of the national and racing press, in a journalistic capacity, are ineligible for the under 26 category. Previous winners in their category (or its near equivalent) are also 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 2007-16 (in the News section).
The permissible word counts are 800-1,000 (under 26s/18s), 500-600 (under 15s) and 200-500 (under 12s).
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 six entries per class.
The eight prizes, for the winner and runner-up in each category, are £1,000/£500 (under 26s), £500/£250 (under 18s), £250/£125 (under 15s) and £200/£100 (under 12s). 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. There is no obligation on the judges to award prizes if the standard is insufficient.
The prizes will be presented at Newmarket’s prestigious Craven Meeting on Wednesday 19 April 2017. All eight 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.
This year’s nine 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; John Blake, Chief Executive of Racing to School; Ed Chamberlin, Chief Racing Presenter at ITV; Tim Cox, the owner of the Cox Library of books devoted to the thoroughbred horse; Frank Keogh, a senior sports reporter at the BBC; Sean Magee, the author of numerous books on horseracing; Lee Mottershead, a racing writer for the Racing Post; and Catherine Wills, Martin Wills’ sister, who holds a D Phil and is a knowledgeable racehorse owner and breeder.
The Martin Wills Memorial Trust is a UK registered charity which commemorates Martin Wills, an amateur jockey and journalist, who died in April 1992, aged 39. The announcement that the 2017 Awards would be the last to be organised by the Trust was made on 12 August 2016, although they may continue under a different guise. Information on the Awards is available atwww.willswritingawards.co.uk and also via Facebook - Wills-Writing-Awards and Twitter @WillsAwards.
For further information, please contact Liz Ampairee on 07733-331 945, email@example.com or Charles Ponsonby on 01993- 811 717, firstname.lastname@example.org or, in Ireland, Andrew Kavanagh on 05997- 73105, email@example.com.
The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art at Palace House - On 3rd November 2016 Her Majesty the Queen, (Patron to the National Horseracing Museum) opened the new National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art. Situated in the remaining elements of Charles II's sporting palace and stables, it spans five acres in the heart of Newmarket and comprises three complementary attractions: The National Horseracing Museum (NHRM Registered Charity No. 283656), the Fred Packard Galleries of British Sporting Art (BSAT Registered Charity No. 274156) and a new flagship yard for Retraining of Racehorses Charity (Registered Charity No. 1084787). www.palacehousenewmarket.co.uk
Racing to School - is responsible for the development and delivery of an education programme which supports over 10,000 pupils across the country every year to practise their school subjects in the unique setting of a racecourse, trainer’s yard or stud. www.bhest.co.uk
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