Young creatives get your pens ready — entries are now being sought for the 17th annual Martin Wills Memorial Trust Writing Awards.

The awards take place in memory of Martin Wills, an amateur jockey, point-to-point rider, racing enthusiast and journalist who died in 1992, aged 39. They are hailed by organisers as a “lucrative and prestigious entrée to journalism”.

Cash prizes of up to £1,250 are available for pieces of creative writing — either fact or fiction — on, or with a background in any aspect of horseracing.

Writers must be aged 26 and below, and the competition is split into three categories — under 26s, under 19s and under 15s.

Organisers stress that particular importance will be placed on “originality, enthusiasm and use of language”. Quality of writing is key, they say, while a detailed knowledge of horseracing is unnecessary.

Past winners include Horse & Hound’s racing editor, Catherine Austen, and Donn McClean of The Sunday Times.

Judges include Racing Post editorial director Brough Scott, Horse & Hound and Daily Telegraph racing writer Marcus Armytage and Catherine Wills, sister of Martin.

Maximum word counts are 1,200 (for under 26s/19s) or 800 (for the under 15 category). Winning articles will be published in the Racing Post and The Irish Field.

Entries close on 28 February. For more information, and to submit an article, visit www.willswritingawards.co.uk