Hugo Young Award

Recognising young talent in political opinion writing

The Award was created in memory of Hugo Young, a political columnist at The Guardian for almost 20 years and who died in 2003. Hugo was one of the most influential figures in British political journalism. An institution for the newspaper, his pronouncements twice a week were mandatory reading for all those who took politics seriously.

Championing the best political opinion writing amongst students and young people across the UK, this award celebrates Hugo’s legacy by encouraging fresh voices, new perspectives and great writing which, now more than ever, are essential to the future of quality, independent political journalism.

Entrants are set the challenge to write an opinion piece on a subject using ideas and perspectives they feel are currently under-represented.

A panel of senior Guardian journalists shortlist the most topical, thoughtful and well-researched entries, and from these choose a winner who is announced at the award ceremony.

The winner has their piece published in The Guardian, the opportunity to shadow one of The Guardian’s political editors in the lobby and receives a cash prize of £500.

The Young Hugo Award

In 2020, we were excited to introduced the Young Hugo Award to celebrate the talent of 16-18 year olds who participated in our Education Centre programme that year.

The winner of the Young Hugo Award had their piece published on the Guardian Education Centre website, received a free place on a Guardian Masterclass and a year's digital subscription to The Guardian. The school will also receive a £100 Guardian Bookshop voucher and a year's digital subscription to The Guardian.
2020 Winners
In 2020 our winners Ian Johnston and Amy Rushton were announced online by Katharine Viner and Sonia Sodha following the cancellation of our ceremony due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Watch the announcement and read the winning articles here.
I like writing on political culture and identity. I chose to write on this topic because nuanced views in Northern Ireland are so often ignored in favour of extremes. I'm delighted that the judges enjoyed it and it's a real encouragement for me as a young journalist.
Ian Johnston
Winner of the Hugo Young Award 2020
I'm really pleased and excited to have won. I wrote about the environment because its something I feel really strongly about... Thank you so much for this award and encouraging my writing.
Amy Rushton
Winner of the Young Hugo Award 2020

Hugo Young Award 2020 shortlist

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