Chance to launch journalism career

NCTJ Stars of the Future Logo
NCTJ Stars of the Future Logo

BUDDING journalists from Doncaster have been challenged to prove they have got what it takes to carve out a successful media career.

The Doncaster Free Press wants youngsters from around the borough to showcase their writing talents in a prestigious competition.

The National Council for the Training of Journalists, the UK’s top training scheme for wannabe reporters, is looking for one teenager to be crowned their ‘Star of the Future’.

But to be able to have a shot at winning the national prize Doncaster writers must first impress the Free Press editorial team.

We will publish extracts from a selection of the best entries before South Yorkshire Newspapers editor-in-chief Graeme Huston picks out his personal favourite.

And the winning entrant will be rewarded by seeing their full story, plus details about themselves, published in the Free Press.

Mr Huston said: “This is a great opportunity for talented writers from our area.

“Not only will their story be seen by thousands of readers, but they will also be able to impress newspaper editors across the country with their entries.

“I’m confident we can unearth a top young journalist right here in Doncaster who will stand a fantastic chance of claiming the national prize.”

Once chosen by the Free Press judging panel Doncaster’s winning entry will be pitted against other regional winners in the national final.

The overall victor will be selected by members of the NCTJ board and will be awarded a first prize of a cheque for £250.

Teenagers aged between 16 and 18 can stake their claim by entering a 200 word news story about an event or issue happening in their part of Doncaster.

The story can relate to their local community, school or college, or their family.

It must be original, unpublished work and include at least one direct quote as the result of an interview.

Mr Huston added: “The winning entry will need to show they have the all round skills needed to become a top journalist.

“They must show the ability to spot a good news story and dig out the key information from interviewing relevant people before having the writing skills to formulate a readable story.”

The competition is part of the NCTJ’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Its aim is to educate students about training opportunities, increase awareness of available career paths and provide information about getting into the various areas of journalism.

The NCTJ is dedicated to providing a world-class education and training system that develops current and future journalists. There are over 70 NCTJ-accredited journalism courses around the country.

Entries should be emailed to with ‘NCTJ Star of the Future’ as the subject. They must be received by May 26.

Terms and conditions

1. No purchase necessary.

2. The NCTJ Young Journalist Competition is open to UK citizens between the ages of 16 and 18 years old on April 18, 2011.

3. All entries must be original unpublished stories of approximately 200 words.

4. Entries must be about issues or events relating to the local area, community or your school.

5. Entries should not be extracts from longer works.

6. Writers may submit one entry only.

7. Entries must be submitted to your local newspaper in the form they request.

8. The closing date for entries is May 26, 2011. Entries will not be accepted after that date.

9. All winning entries will be published on

10. By submitting an entry all entrants thereby grant The National Council for the Training of Journalists the right to publish their entry on in the event of their entry being shortlisted and/or winning the competition.

11. The National Council for the Training of Journalists cannot accept responsibility for entries which are not received or which are received after the closing date due to technical failure or for any other reason.

12. Winners agree to participate in publicity events in connection with the competition.

13. The National Council for the Training of Journalists reserves the right to change the rules of this competition without notice.

14. The winner of the regional competition will be notified week commencing 13 June 2011 and the winning entry published in the regional press.

15. The winner of the national competition will be notified on Friday, 01 July 2011 and the winning entry published on

16. The decision of the competition judges will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

17. Employees of The National Council for the Training of Journalists and any participating newspapers, and members of their immediate family, are excluded from entering the competition.

18. The National Council for the Training of Journalists and the Society of Editors will provide one prize of £250 for the national winner.