New Award for Young Writers Announced

A new award for young writers has been announced to commemorate the radical journalist and author, Ian Bell.

Born and educated in Edinburgh, Ian's career saw him progress from a sub-editor to political journalist, and then columnist and leader writer for the Herald and Sunday Herald.  He won the Orwell Prize for political journalism in 1997.

Ian died in December 2015, and the new award has been established in his memory by The National Union of Journalists (Edinburgh Branch) and his family. 

Details of Award

Entrants should be aged 30 or under at 30th November 2017, and be living, working or studying in Scotland.

Submissions should be as yet unpublished. They should be in the critical spirit of Ian Bell and written in a style – 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.

Each entrant may submit up to two entries, each of between 1,500 and 2,000 words. Entries must 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 30 November 2017.

The judges will be experienced journalists Iain Macwhirter, author and political commentator, The Herald and The Sunday Herald; Melanie Reid, writer and columnist, The Times; and Michael Gray, former reporter for CommonSpace.

The winner will be announced in early February, and will receive a prize of £500 and publication in Scottish Review of Books

For further information please contact Hilary Horrocks, NUJ, at the above email address.


We have supported more than 300 talented young artists. Find out more about them here.


View multimedia examples of previous Awardees’ work, including films, music and images.