News Associates trainee wins the FWA Hugh McIlvanney Student Football Writer of the Year award
News Associates sports journalism trainee Dom Smith has claimed the Football Writers’ Association Hugh McIlvanney Student Football Writer of the Year award.
Dom was awarded the top prize for his interview with a Christian evangelist who preaches outside big football matches in London.
Dom, 22, said: “I was surprised and very proud when I heard I had won the FWA Hugh McIlvanney Student Football Writer of the Year award.
“It’s been a testing year for myself, juggling my NCTJ course at News Associates with starting as a football reporter for the Evening Standard. But easy things are boring, and I’ve enjoyed the challenge.
“I’ve had my heart set on becoming a football writer since I was about half the age I am now, and it’s always been a dual priority alongside my education.
“It felt fitting to be presented with my award at the FWA Footballer of the Year awards dinner on the very day I finished my studies after 18 years in full-time education.”
Over the moon to have won @theofficialfwa Hugh McIlvanney Student Football Writer of the Year.— Dom Smith (@MrDomSmith) May 18, 2023
Loved interviewing football preacher Ben Jones for the piece. Great to see it in today's @standardsport. Can't wait to join the paper full-time next week! pic.twitter.com/MouXSq5VpN
Daily Telegraph journalist and head of the judging panel Jim White, who also sits on the FWA national executive committee, said: “This is the third year of the FWA Student Football Writer of the Year awards and the standard seems to be getting ever higher.
“This year we received over 500 submissions, the excellence of which suggests the future of the football writing business is bright indeed.”
Also shortlisted in the same category was fellow News Associates sports journalism trainee George Simms.
Alongside Dom and George, News Associates fast-track trainee and BCOMS x Chelsea Foundation bursary recipient Sirayah-Shiraz Koraltan was nominated for FWA KickItOut Unheard Voices Student Football Writer of the Year.
You can read my entry to the FWA Hugh McIlvanney Student Football Writer of the Year here (shortlisted into the top three!) 🏅— George Simms (@GeorgeRSimms) April 19, 2023
If you’re interested, it’s adapted from a much longer piece on ADHD in football which is pinned at the top of my page. https://t.co/t2S2DD9wbf
News Associates course director Graham Moody said: “We were so proud to see several of our trainees nominated and shortlisted for the FWA awards. Our trainees work incredibly hard and Dom winning this award is a testament to that.
"Dom has just finished our sports journalism course and this is a great start to his career. It’s an incredible achievement and we hope he is as proud of himself as we are of him.”
Each of the winners will receive a prize of £1,000, plus copies of all six of the titles shortlisted for the FWA Football Book of the Year award.
Learn more about our NCTJ-accredited sport journalism course here.