The Wyn Harness Prize for Young Journalists

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The Independent Online

Due to a very high volume of entries, the deadline for the annual Wyn Harness Prize for Young Journalists has been extended to next Sunday, 6 December.

The Independent is pleased to invite applications for the annual Wyn Harness Prize for Young Journalists, following the second anniversary of the death of Wyngate Harness, assistant editor of The Independent, and one of the most important and best-loved figures in the newspaper's history.

For more than 20 years, Wyn was a huge influence on The Independent. He cared deeply about the quality of writing and reporting in its pages, and how these were presented to the world. He was a guide and mentor to dozens of young journalists who began their national newspaper careers in its newsroom, many of whom went on to reach the top of the profession.

His death from an inoperable brain tumour, at the age of 47, was a huge shock to his colleagues and friends on the paper, and he continues to be much missed by those who worked with him.

Everyone who knew Wyn appreciated his dry, irreverent wit, and his affection for the quirkier and more bizarre aspects of British life. And it is this that inspired the format of The Wyn Harness Prize for Young Journalists.

The competition is open to anyone aged 25 or under who is embarking on a career in newspaper journalism, either in training or in their first paid employment. To take part, candidates must write a news report of between 500 and 700 words about an aspect of Britain or British society that rarely makes the headlines. The judges will be looking for a subject that is unusual and eye-opening. Entries must be accurate, well researched and stylishly written.

The winner will receive a cash bursary of £1,000. They will have their story published in The Independent, and they will be offered a two-week work placement in the paper's London newsroom.

Last year's winner, Anna Leach, said: "My winning story [about sectarianism and Northern Ireland's gay community] was something I really wanted to write and I'm so glad The Independent published it.While I was on work experience, I wrote a feature for the technology pages of the Independent Life section, and now work as editor of a technology website, ShinyShiny. The exposure, contacts, confidence and money (of course) it gave me have been great."

ELIGIBILITY The prize is open to young journalists of any nationality who will be under the age of 26 on 31 December 2009.
SUBMISSION OF ENTRIES Entries should be emailed to by midnight on Sunday 6 December 2009.
SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION The judging panel will include Sue Royal (Wyn Harness’s widow, also a journalist), Simon Kelner (managing director and editor-in-chief of The Independent), Helen Boaden (director of BBC News, and friend of Wyn Harness), and national newspaper journalists Martyn Palmer and Jason Burt. The winner will be notified by email by 8pm on Monday 14 December.

For general terms and conditions see