Aspiring young journalists are encouraged to enter this year’s Wills Writing awards.

The awards launched in 1993 in memory of journalist and amateur jockey Martin Wills are for “fine writing (fact or fiction) on a horseracing theme suitable for publication in the Racing Post or The Irish Field.”

There are three categories: under 26, under 19 and under 15. The word count is 800-1,000 words for the older age groups and 500-600 for the under 15s. Entries must be typewritten and sent in by 28 February.

Journalists in the national and racing press and previous winners cannot enter.

The awards are judged by an eight-strong judging panel chaired by H&H racing columnist Brough Scott, twice racing writer of the year.

“Be informed as well as inventive, and the rewards will be great in terms of both prestige and lucre,” he said.

Other judges include H&H’s racing correspondent Marcus Armytage, Racing UK presenter Oli Bell and William Derby, chief executive and clerk of the course at York racecourse.

There are six prizes for the winners and runners-up in each category, with £1,000/£500 for the under 26s, £500/£250 for the under 19s and £250/£125 for the under 15s.

This year there is a new competition for the best tweet; entries should be submitted to @willsawards#comp using the 121 remaining characters only anytime until 28 February. The winning entry will receive a prize of £500.

The prizes will be presented at Newmarket’s Craven meeting on 15 April, with all seven winners given an expenses paid day’s racing and a tour of James Fanshawe’s Pegasus stables.

For more information visit www.willswritingawards.co.uk