May 9 deadline for young Black writers cash prize and job

There are just three days to go to the deadline for entries to a competition that provides a great chance for young Black writers.

Top prize is £250 and a final interview for an internship at the multi-award-winning Guardian newspaper.

All entrants need to do is submit a opinion or editorial piece that could be something unpublished they've written already or even a blog of their own. It should be 450 to 500 words in length and use at least two sources and can be illustrated with photographs or a short video clip.

Entries must be submitted to by 5pm on Friday, May 9.

Charity the Citizen Journalism Educational Trust (CJET) and The-Latest.Com have teamed up with the Guardian to launch a Young Black Minority Ethnic Columnist of the Year competition. It is open to people aged 18-24. No previous journalistic experience or qualification is needed.

The subject to be tackled is an issue that is important in your locality or a topic about which you feel strongly. 

After the civic disturbances that followed the shooting dead by police of young Black man Mark Duggan in Tottenham, north London, a conference was held in 2011 that brought together young people from riot affected areas, journalists, scholars and members of the public. 

The following year organisers of the conference CJET and The-Latest produced a report titled Media and the riots – A call for Action, which was written by leading social scientist Dr Leah Bassel and resulted from that frank, robust and extremely useful exchange of views. 

One of its several practical recommendations was that a writing competition should be held to aid the much-needed process of making journalism in Britain more racially diverse.

Useful advice on sources and writing style can be found in the Journalism Tips section at the foot of the home page of

A cash prize of £250 will be awarded to the winner who will also get a final interview at The Guardian for a place on the exciting positive action internship programme run by the national publication that has been voted newspaper of the year and won the prestigious Pulitzer prize. The runner up will win £150 and third placed entrant, £100. The winning columns will be published on and other news outlets.

The judges are Dr Leah Bassel, University of Leicester, Dr Margaret Busby OBE, a CJET trustee, writer and former book publisher, Hugh Muir, diary editor of The Guardian, Yasir Mirza, head of diversity and inclusion at The Guardian, and journalist Samia Rahman, deputy director of the Muslim Institute.

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