Young racing writers’ awards in 21st year

Martin Wills
Martin Wills

Young writers with an interest in horse racing have the opportunity to win cash and prizes for creative writing on a racing theme.

Racing’s 21st annual Wills Writing Awards were started in 1993 in memory of journalist and amateur jockey Martin Wills, an amateur jockey, point-to-point rider and journalist who died in April 1992, aged 39.

The awards offer prizes for the winner and runner-up in three categories – under 26, under 19 (up to 1200 words), and under 15 (800 words). The competition is limited to those  resident in the UK or the Republic of Ireland.

Brough Scott, Chairman of the judges for the 11th successive year, says despite this being its 21st year, the competition came of age many years ago.

“Long may the Awards offer their uniquely generous opportunity for those who want to make their writing sing.”

Last year’s under 26 joint winner, five-times Irish Champion Amateur Jockey Patrick Mullins, had his article on his tragic experience when riding Dooneys Gate in the 2011 Grand National – published as the principal comment piece in The Daily Telegraph on the day before the 2012 Grand National.

The six prizes, for the winner and runner-up in each category, are £1,250/£750 (under 26s), £500/£250 (under 19s) and £250/£125 (under 15s). In addition, the winners will be published in the Racing Post and The Irish Field. The under 26 winner will also have the opportunity of work experience at the Racing Post.

The Awards will be announced and presented at Newmarket’s prestigious Craven Meeting on April 17, when all six prize winners will be given an expenses paid day’s racing, including a reception in a private luncheon room made available by the Racecourse. There will also be a tour of two leading stables.

This year’s six judges are: Brough Scott (Chairman), three-times Sports Feature Writer of the Year, Racing Writer of the Year in 1977 and 2010, his Henry Cecil, Trainer of Genius will be published in April; Marcus Armytage, racing writer at The Daily Telegraph and Grand National-winning jockey in record time, who was shortlisted for Racing Reporter of the Year 2012; Sean Magee, a versatile journalist and author, most recently of Desert Island Discs:70 Years of Castaways; Lee Mottershead, a writer on the Racing Post, who was named Racing Writer of the Year in 2011; Leo Powell, who is in his 10th year as Editor of The Irish Field; and Catherine Wills, D Phil art historian sister of Martin Wills, and a racehorse owner and breeder.


Entries close on February 28, 2013.

More information:


Latest research and information from the horse world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.