The Wyn Harness Prize for Young Journalists 2015

The winner will receive a £1,000 cash bursary, have their story published in The Independent, and be offered a work placement in our London newsroom

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The Independent Online

The Independent is pleased to invite applications for the annual Wyn Harness Prize for Young Journalists, following the eighth anniversary of the death of Wyngate Harness, former 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 our newsroom, many of whom went on to reach the top of the profession. His death, in 2007, from an inoperable brain tumour at the age of 47, was a huge shock to 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 our London newsroom.

The rules

Eligibility: The prize is open to young journalists of any nationality who will be under the age of 26 on 30 April 2015.

Submission of entries: Entries should be emailed to by midnight on Thursday 30 April 2015.

Selection and notification: The judging panel will include Sue Royal (Wyn Harness’s widow, also a journalist), Amol Rajan (Editor of The Independent), Helen Boaden (director of BBC Radio and friend of Wyn Harness), freelance writer Martyn Palmer, and national newspaper journalist Jason Burt.

The winner: Will be notified by email before 30 May. A selection of entries will be published on The Independent website in the run-up to the deadline. Writers will be notified in advance of publishing that their submission has been selected for early publication. For general terms and conditions see