BBC Radio 1 breakfast host Nick Grimshaw has helped launch Column Idol 2014, an annual competition set up by charity Media Trust with The Sun newspaper to find new writing talent.
Grimshaw, who will help to judge the writing, said: “I would have loved to enter Column Idol. Writing is definitely something I want to do more of when I get the time.
“It’s quite a rewarding process and quite therapeutic. It’s something I always wanted to do when I was young but we didn’t have a school newspaper and there was only limited opportunities.”
To get involved in Column Idol, young writers are asked to submit a short description about themselves, an idea for their column and why they deserve to have their voice heard. The group will be narrowed down to 10 semi-finalists who will receive mentoring from journalists at The Sun. Their short opinion-led pieces will be printed in the newspaper.
A final five will get further training before an overall winner lands the top prize of a full-page column printed in the paper, complete with their byline plus two weeks of further training at The Sun.
Column Idol is open to 16 to 25-year-olds in England and Wales. Previous winners include Lee Price, who now works at The Sun while one of last year’s finalists, Alex Harris, is a journalist at The Daily Express.
The Sun Editor David Dinsmore said he was delighted to give more “young people a voice” through the ongoing partnership with Media Trust.
He said: “Journalists from our paper are acting as mentors to the finalists and we’re opening our doors to give further insight into the media industry, making Column Idol a fantastic opportunity for the young writers to receive advice from industry experts.”
Katie Lloyd, Deputy Chief Executive at Media Trust, said: “We’re proud to partner with The Sun for the fifth consecutive year to give industry insight and expertise to young people who wouldn’t normally have access to it.”
The closing date for entries is June 29 2014.
To enter, visit: http://www.mediatrust.org/columnidol or http://www.thesun.co.uk/columnidol.