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Calling all aspiring young writers: Ian Bell award now open

27 November 2020

The National Union of Journalists invites entries by young writers for an award to commemorate Ian Bell, the radical journalist and author who died in December 2015.

The competition is for young writers who have yet to break into professional journalism. Entries should be in the critical spirit of Ian Bell and written in a style – lively, taut, provocative but thoughtful – suitable for online and newspaper publication. The subject can be drawn from politics, culture, modern society, history, international affairs, Scotland, or related topics, and can be investigative reporting or informed commentary.

Entrants should be aged 30 or under on 18 December 2020, and be living, working or studying in Scotland. Submissions should not have been previously published in any medium. Each entrant may submit up to two entries, each of between 1,500 and 2,000 words. Please do not exceed the word limit. Please submit entries by email, together with your name, date of birth and place of work/study (if any), to by midnight on 10 January 2021. Entrants do not need to be NUJ members.

The judges this year are Richard Walker, founding editor of The National and Sunday National, Karin Goodwin, co-editor of The Ferret, and Carla Jenkins, reporter at Glasgow Live and a former winner of Young Journalist Of The Year at the Scottish Press Awards. The winner will be announced in February 2020 and will receive a prize of £500 with runners-up receiving £100.

This selection of Ian Bell’s articles should be an inspirlation. 

For further information please contact Nick McGowan-Lowe at the NUJ’s Scottish Office at the above email address. Follow us on our Facebook page, ‘Ian Bell New Writing Award’.

Tags: , ian bell, award, young journalists, scotland