Awards

FWA Student Football Writer of the Year awards open for entry

Win £1000 in the FWA Student Football Writer of the Year Awards 2024

As part of our commitment to encouraging the next generation of journalistic talent, the Football Writers Association’s trio of Student Football Writer of the Year awards will be open for entries from Monday 29 January 2024. Over the past few years the competition has drawn in thousands of entries, many of which insisted that the future of football writing in this country is bright indeed. It is indicative of the awards’ standing that several of our past winners – like Jacob Tanswell, now at The Athletic, Dominic Smith at The Evening Standard, plus Morgan Ofori and Yara El-Shaboury, both at The Guardian – have gone on to secure jobs in the business.

The competition is split into three categories: the Vikki Orvice Award for Female Student Football Writer of the Year and the Hugh McIlvanney Award for Male Student Football Writer of the Year – named after two much missed members of the association – and the Unheard Voices Award. Run in conjunction with our friends at Kick It Out, this last category is aimed at those from less represented sections of society, whether because of ethnicity, sexuality or disability. We would like to hear from such students and give them a platform to promote and encourage their work.

And the good news is, as competitions go, this remains as simple as ever to enter.

In all three award categories, we are asking for one piece of writing of less than 800 words. It might be a match report (either of a student game or a professional encounter, watched live or on television). Or it could be an interview, a piece of analysis, or a personal experience, as a fan or a participant. Work does not need to have been previously published. All entrants need to be in full time tertiary education.

We have assembled a judging panel of eminent football writers and broadcasters, including Alyson Rudd, Carrie Brown, John Cross, Paul Hayward, Jacqui Oatley, Miguel Delaney, Paul McCarthy, Anne-Marie Batson, Adam Crafton, Keir Radnedge and Sami Mokbel to assess the work. And what they will be looking for are three things: originality, insight and delivery.

The prize is substantial. As well as a trophy, each of the three award winners will receive the five shortlisted titles in the FWA Football Book of the Year Award. Plus, offered in conjunction with our friends at Football Manager, there is a cash prize of £1000 for all of the winners. The prizes will be awarded on the same night as the FWA Footballers of the Year at our annual dinner.

Also, thanks to our continuing partnership with the FA, all those who make it on to the three shortlists will be invited to attend a match in the press box at Wembley. Both international and FA Cup games will be open. This is some opportunity, which was hugely enjoyed by ten of those shortlisted last year. 

To make the most of such a chance, you need to be in the competition. Articles should be submitted by email (please cut and paste work into the email, don’t send it as an attachment) to this address: fwasjoy@gmail.com. Please state your age, the place where you are studying and which of the awards you would like to enter. The closing date for entries is Tuesday 2 April 2024; the long lists will be published on the FWA website on 22 April and the shortlists on 1 May. The winners will be announced at the FWA’s Footballer of the Year dinner on 16 May.

Football is working to address its inequalities and this is equally necessary in the media. We actively welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, cultures, faiths and religions. These awards are primarily established to encourage and build a pathway for the next generation of writers, who represent our society now.

Jim White, Football Writers Association

Last year’s winners were (l-r) Lara Alsaid, Morgan Ofori and Dom Smith

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