Hugo Young Award

Recognising young talent in political opinion writing

The Hugo Young Award is a political opinion writing competition, created in memory of Hugo Young, a political columnist at The Guardian for almost 20 years. Hugo was one of the most influential figures in British political journalism.

Entries for the 2021 award will open on 1st October. The winner will have their piece published on The Guardian, the opportunity to shadow a Guardian journalist and will receive a cash prize of £500.

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.
How to enter
> Entries open on 1st October 2021 and close on 17th October 2021
> Entries should be a political opinion piece between 900 and 1000 words, on a subject of your choice
> You should submit your finished piece in PDF format with your submission form to hugoyoungaward@theguardianfoundation.org by 17th October 2021
> For further criteria and T&Cs, read our full guidance before you start writing.
Under 18?
You can only enter the Hugo Young Award if you are aged 18-25, but we also run our Young Hugo Award for 16-18 year olds, which runs at the same time and has some amazing prizes.
Previous 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
Further guidance and support
Media careers insight week
We're launching our Media careers insight week on 27th September. This will be an opportunity for young people interested in careers in media to hear from professionals working in the field.

On Friday 1st October, there will be a whole day dedicated to opinion writing, where experienced Guardian journalists will be giving their top writing tips. This will be a great opportunity for Hugo Young entrants to build on their writing skills ahead of submitting
their piece.

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Get in touch
If you have questions about the competition, we are happy to help. Feel free to email us.
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