A Staffordshire-based competition to find the next generation of journalists and bloggers is receiving international entries.

The Future Journalist Awards is usually open to schools in Staffordshire and the surrounding areas, with finalists being invited to an awards ceremony at the University. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s competition is fully online, including launch, school workshops, and the awards event.

Organised by third-year journalism and PR students, the Awards aim to inspire young people to consider a career in journalism. The launch event was streamed via social media on Friday, November 27, 2020. 

Open to young people aged seven to 18, applicants can choose to write an article, review, or blog, or create a short video or audio clip. Due to the current lockdown and the challenges of home-schooling, the competition deadline has been extended to Friday, February 26.

Zoe Barnes, a former teacher at St John Fisher Catholic College in Newcastle-under-Lyme, now teaches at Santo António International School in Portugal and has encouraged her students to enter the competition.

She said: “Our students are delighted to have the opportunity to submit their work to the Future Journalist Awards. The decision to allow international entries has acted as an important reminder to our students that they are part of a global community of learners. It’s a great opportunity for them to apply skills from across the school curriculum, and the competition is an excellent reminder of the real-life application of their studies.The fact that that they can choose their topic has allowed our students to reflect on where their own interests and passions truly lie, resulting in some thoughtful and original pieces of work.”

Ian Whittell, course leader for Sports Journalism at Staffordshire University, and one of the competition judges, said: “We’ve had some high quality submissions in previous years, and we expect the same standard this year. The fact that we’re accepting international entries just adds to the excitement and I’m looking forward to judging the entries. I encourage anyone with a passion for writing or blogging or an interest in creating vlogs or podcasts to enter.”

There will be three winners per age category: best written content, best video, and best audio. Each will win a £50 Amazon voucher and have their work published on the StaffsLive website. Full details on how to enter can be found on the competition website.

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