For anyone aspiring to a career in journalism, winning a writing competition run by a national newspaper is about as good as it gets.
Brendan Sharp, of Stour Green, Clare, is now the proud holder of The Independent’s Wyn Harness Prize for young journalists, having seen the article he submitted make the biggest impression on a panel of judges.
The 22-year-old, who went to Clare Primary and Clare Middle School and then Sudbury Upper, has been “doggedly pursuing” a career in journalism since graduating in English literature from Anglia Ruskin University in 2012.
In his time there, he wrote arts reviews for the independently-owned Cult Media magazine and, since graduating, has been a regular contributor to Clare Focus.
The feature he wrote for The Independent, which was published last week, examined the use of self-service checkouts at supermarkets and earned him a £1,000 cheque, plus a two-week placement with the paper’s editorial team this summer.
Brendan, who has also been asked to write a counter argument to his piece, said: “The editor, Amol Rajan, did not give me a figure for the number of entries but I would imagine it was thousands because it is quite prestigious.
“It is a big deal to me. Winning it and going there are possibly two of the best experiences I will have.”
Mr Rajan said Brendan’s article was notable for its clarity of argument and aptness of subject.
“He addresses it in a compassionate and convincing way and looks destined for a long and glorious career in journalism,” he said.