Student Football Writer of the Year Awards open for entry

Win £1000 in the FWA Student Football Writer of the Year Awards 2023, sponsored by Football Manager

As part of our long-term commitment to encouraging the next generation of journalistic talent, the Football Writers Association operates a trio of Student Football Writer of the Year awards. Over the past couple of years they have 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’ growing standing that all of our past winners – like Jacob Tanswell, who is now Southampton correspondent at The Athletic – have gone on to find 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. Or a piece of analysis. Or just a take on personal experience, as a fan or a participant. Work does not need to have been previously published. To be eligible, 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, Jonathan Liew, 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 Footballer of the Year at our annual dinner. 

 Articles should be submitted by email (please cut and paste work into the email, don’t send it as an attachment) to this address: 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 Friday 31 March 2023; the longlists will be published on the FWA website in mid April and the shortlists on April 30. The winners will be announced at the FWA’s Footballer of the Year dinner on May 25. 

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

Yara El-Shaboury, Sajidur Rahman and Andrew McLean were presented with their 2022 FWA Student Football Writing Awards during the FWA Footballer of the Year dinner held at the Landmark Hotel, London.
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