Horseracing writer awards open for entries

Entries for the annual Martin Wills Young Writers’ Award open today, with a prize fund of more than £3,000 awaiting entrants in the competition, which recognises creative writing around a horseracing theme across three categories ” under-26, under-19 and under-15.

Entries can be either fact or fiction on any aspect of horseracing by residents of the UK or Ireland.

Judges are looking for originality, imagination, conviction, entertainment and use of language but stress that detailed knowledge of horseracing is unnecessary.

This year’s judging panel includes Daily Telegraph countryside editor Charlie Brooks, Irish Field deputy editor Mark Costello and Brian Viner, author, columnist and feature writer with The Independent.

The six prizes, for the winner and runner-up in each category, are £1,250 and £750 (under-26), £500 and £250 (under-19) and £250 and £125 (under-15).

In addition, the winners’ stories will be published in the Racing Post and Irish Field and the under-26 winner will also be offered work experience at the Racing Post in London.

The awards were started in memory of journalist and amateur jockey Martin Wills, who died in 1992, aged 39.

Previous winners have gone on to write for the national and racing press, news agencies and the broadcast media.

Deadline for entries is February 28 and full information and an application form can be found at

The awards will be presented at Newmarket race course on April 14, when all six prize winners will be given an expenses paid day’s racing, including a reception and tour of two stables.

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