Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Financial Control Manager - Regulatory Reporting

£400 - £550 per day: Orgtel: Financial Control Manager - Regulatory Reporting ...

Lead Application Developer

£80000 - £90000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am current...

Senior Networks Architect

£65000 per annum + 15% Pension, Health, Travel & Bonus: Progressive Recruitmen...

SAP BW/BO Consultant

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP BW/BO CONSU...

Letter from the i editor: Work isn't reality TV

I blame Simon Cowell.

Our i Writers’ competition, which has now ended, was an almost exclusively uplifting experience for us here at i. First, there were the extraordinary 500-plus entries at two lots of 400 words a piece; second, 90 per cent of you hit the deadline and answered the brief – vital for serious aspiring journalists; third, the overall quality of entries was strong.

Most were decent, many were pretty good, and a few outstanding. Last, there was the wonderful response of i’s readers to our students’ work. All of them will have a chance to appear again in the paper soon. And I will email the close runners-up. I said “almost exclusively uplifting”. Most entrants who wrote on Carlos Tevez found it tough to rise above cliché. Understandably, too many columns were essays or, in the case of Amanda Knox, angry letters.

Then there was the proliferation of apostrophe-s plurals. No one’s perfect (see “i was wrong”, p16), but we should all try. How did apostrophe-s become synonymous with plurals? So. Simon Cowell? Back stories. The sob stories that are killing The XFactor as a legitimate singing competition are now the norm.

Many students felt compelled to tell us about their personal difficulties, whether illness or penury. Some said they were only alerted to our competition at the last minute (ie “I don’t read i”) so would we forgive just one column? (No). The worst? “I’m sorry I didn’t answer the brief, but I was busy with other commitments”. Yep, that’s a surefire winner with any Fleet Street editor.

To those students: toughen up, people. The dog can't keep eating your homework. Work isn’t university, or reality TV. Rant over. See you on Monday, when it’s the cartoonists’ turn. We think we have found some real talent, and hope you agree. i@independent.co.uk

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices