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Friday, January 4, 2008



Six prizes totalling £3,125 plus the opportunity to be published

The Martin Wills Memorial Trust, a UK-registered charity, is offering its 16th annual awards for creative writing (fact or fiction) on, or with a background in, any aspect of horseracing by young people resident in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. Particular importance will be attached to originality, use of language, and entertainment - a detailed knowledge of horseracing is unnecessary.

This year, for the first time, a competition is being announced for a third age group, those under 15. Also for the first time, prizes for the winner and runner-up will be awarded in each age group.

Those aged under 26 at 1 January 2008 (other than employees of the national and racing press and previous winners in their category, who are ineligible) are invited to submit a single typewritten article of under 1,200 words by 29 February 2008 to the Trustees, The Martin Wills Memorial Trust, Henley Knapp Barn, Fulwell, Chipping Norton, Oxon, OX7 4EN (fax: 01608-678 052) or by e-mail to willswritingawards@postmaster.co.uk. Name, date of birth, address and telephone number should be stated. The article must not be published prior to the announcement of the winners of the awards. No correspondence will be entered into, entries will not be returned, and the judges’ decision is final. Schools should, please, not submit more than five entries per class.

The six prizes, for the winner and runner-up in each category, are £1,250/£750 (<26), £500/£250 (<19) and £250/£125 (<15). In addition, the winning articles 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 Racing Post.

The awards will be announced and presented at the Craven Meeting at Newmarket on Wednesday 16 April 2008, 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 six judges are: Brough Scott, Chairman, Editorial Director of the Racing Post, sports feature writer of The Sunday Telegraph and formerly, for 30 years, chief presenter of Channel 4 Racing (Chairman); Christopher Fildes, a leading financial journalist, including for the Evening Standard and, for many years, The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator; Andrew Longmore, a senior sports writer for The Sunday Times; Tim Richards, a racing journalist for 45 years, principally with the Daily Mirror and the Racing Post, where he was chief reporter and news editor; Denis Walsh, chief sports writer of the Irish edition of The Sunday Times; and Catherine Wills, DPhil art historian sister of Martin Wills and a member of the Jockey Club.

The Martin Wills Memorial Trust commemorates Martin Wills, an amateur jockey, point-to-point rider, racing enthusiast and journalist who died in April 1992, aged 39.

Information on the awards is available on www.mrwc.org.uk/willswritingawards.

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

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