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The late Ian Bell, of the Herald

By Nick McGowan-Lowe

The National Union of Journalists’ Edinburgh Branch and Ian Bell’s family are inviting entries by young writers for an award – now in its third year – to commemorate Ian Bell, the radical journalist and author who died in December 2015.

The competition is aimed at young writers who have yet to break into professional journalism. That may not describe you – but you may know someone who is eligible. Entrants do not need to be NUJ members.

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 at 30 November 2019, 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 hilaryhorrocks@btinternet.com by midnight on 30 November 2019.

The judges this year are Ian’s son Sean Bell, writer and journalist on the Scottish-based news website CommonSpace; Libby Brooks, The Guardian’s Scotland correspondent and co-chair of Women in Journalism Scotland; and Rob Edwards, chair and production manager of the award-winning investigative journalism co-operative, The Ferret. The winner will be announced in early February 2020, and will receive a prize of £500; runners-up will receive £100. In addition, we expect to secure publication of the winning entries in a major Scottish media outlet.

To inspire you, a selection of Ian Bell’s articles can be seen here: https://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/14139932.One_of_Scotland_s_finest__read_12_of_Ian_Bell_s_best_columns/?ref=mr&lp=8

For further information please contact Hilary Horrocks at hilaryhorrocks@btinternet.com. Follow us on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Ian-Bell-New-Writing-Award-349307402193953/

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