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Young regional journalists urged to enter award with four-figure cash prize

Quincy de VriesYoung regional journalists are being encouraged to enter an award which comes with a four-figure cash prize.

The Orwell Society and National Union of Journalists have launched their Young Journalist’s Award for 2023, which aims to reward young writers “whose work is judged to honour [George] Orwell’s writing both in form and in subject matter”.

The annual award offers top prizes of £1,500 in two categories – review and column – and free membership to the union, as well as runner-up prizes.

Students in undergraduate or postgraduate studies, or vocational trainees are eligible to enter, as are currently employed or self-employed UK resident journalists born on or after 1 January 1993.

The 2022 column prize was won by University of Cambridge postgraduate Quincy Elise de Vries, pictured, while Meg Byrom, another Cambridge student, won the review category.

Entrants will be judged by a panel of experts on George Orwell, whose real name was Eric Blair, including his son and Orwell Society patron Richard Blair.

Dr Jaron Murphy, principal academic in communication, journalism and literature at Bournemouth University, will chair the judging panel.

Jaron said: “I am delighted to welcome onboard a stellar trio — Gary Younge, Marverine Cole and Tam Hussein — whose presence on the judging panel will help to inspire up-and-coming journalists to aim high and enter this prestigious award.

“In addition to the national recognition of journalistic excellence and a significant boost to CVs, the winners and runners-up can look forward to notably generous monetary and membership prizes amid a cost-of-living crisis that Orwell would surely have written about were he alive today.

“The award is practice-based, accessible and inclusive for young journalists from all backgrounds – so please encourage entries if you lead a newsroom or training course, or if you happen to personally know a talented young journalist who might not be aware of this opportunity, anywhere in the UK.

“As the top entrants in recent years have shown, Orwell’s first-rate writing practice allied to acute social and political awareness continues to fire up aspirations and approaches among the emerging generation of journalists.”

Entries must be submitted by 31 March 2023. More information can be found here.