JILLY COOPER SUPPORTS 22ND WILLS WRITING AWARDS
“I read the winning articles from last year's Martin Wills Awards and thought they were absolutely marvellous. I believe passionately in encouraging writing talent in young people - and what better subject than horses and racing!"
Jilly Cooper OBE
Jilly Cooper, the author of over 40 books which together have sold over 12 million copies in the UK alone, is a keen supporter of the Wills Writing Awards and in 2014 will offer the winner of the under 26 category the unique opportunity to have a ‘literary lunch’ with her and Brough Scott, Chairman of the Awards judges and a leading sports journalist and author.
Entries for the Awards are due in by 28February 2014. They are for creative writing (fact or fiction) with a horseracing theme. Theyare open to young people resident in the UK or the Republic of Ireland, with three categories: under 26, under 19 and under 15. Each category offers substantial prizes with a total of £3,125 offered. For 2014, the Awards website also highlights some of the best racing writing ever in its ‘Lines of Brilliance’ section. Some previous entrants of the Awards have gone on to successful careers as journalists and authors.
Now in their 22nd year, the Wills Writing Awards were launched in 1993 in memory of journalist and amateur jockey Martin Wills.
Details of the Wills Writing Awards and ‘How to enter’
Those aged under 26/19/15 at 1 January 2014 are invited to submit a single article by 28 February 2014 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.
Particular importance will be attached by the judges to imagination, use of language and entertainment. Quality of writing is key; a detailed knowledge of horseracing is unnecessary. No previous experience of published or competitive writing is required. Entrants are advised to consult the FAQs and ‘Lines of Brilliance’ segments in the Awards section of the website and the feedback press releases 2007-13 in the News section.
The maximum word counts are 1,200 (under 26s/19s) and 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The article must not be published prior to the announcement of the winners of the Awards.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 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. As well as the ‘literary lunch’ with Jilly Cooper and Brough Scott mentioned above,the under 26 winner will have the opportunity of work experience at the Racing Post and the option to retain for a year a fine bronze of galloping horses by Cambridge-based sculptress Gill Wiles.
The Awards will be announced and presented at Newmarket’s prestigious Craven Meeting on Wednesday 16 April 2014, 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 a leading Newmarket stables.
This year’s seven judges are: Brough Scott (Chairman), three times Sports Feature Writer of the Year, Racing Writer of the Year in 1977 and 2010, recent works include Warrior, The Amazing Story of a Real Warhorse, which sold over 45,000 copies, and the best-selling Henry Cecil: Trainer of Genius; Marcus Armytage, racing correspondent for The Daily Telegraph and Horse & Hound, author of several books on horseracingand Grand National winning jockey in record time; Alastair Down, Racing Post journalist and three times Horserace Writers’ & Photographers’ Association Racing Writer of the Year, most recently in 2012; Chris Garibaldi, Director of the National Horseracing Museum and supremo of the new Palace House National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art in Newmarket which will open in 2016; Nick Luck, Channel 4 racing presenter and an unprecedented five times Horserace Writers’ & Photographers’ Association Broadcaster of the Year, most recently in 2013; Sean Magee, a versatile journalist and author, whose The Injured Jockeys Fund: Celebrating 50 Years 1964-2014 has just been published; and Catherine Wills, 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 that 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 0773 333 1945, firstname.lastname@example.org or Charles Ponsonby on 01993 811717, 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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