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NTU Arts & Humanities alum picks up prize at young literary award ceremony

MA Magazine Journalism graduate, George White, now editor of famous Nottingham arts and culture magazine, LeftLion, picked up second place in the Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize for young writers.

NTU arts & humanities graduate George White at Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize award ceremony
MA Magazine Journalism graduate, George White at the Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize award ceremony

The prize runs each year and asks writers aged between 18 and 25 to write 1000-1500 words exploring a question or quote by Franklin and its relevance in our time. Prizes are on offer for the winners with first place picking up £750, and second place receiving £500.

The quote this year was;

‘The Eyes of other People are the Eyes that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither fine Clothes, fine Houses nor Fine Furniture.’ Letter to Benjamin Vaughan, 1784.

Here you can read George’s submission and find out more about the Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize.

We caught up with George to find out more about his nomination for the prize, what interested him in entering and even got an insight into George’s spending habits.

Congratulations on your nomination for the Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize for young writers, how did you first hear about the prize?

Thank you, I appreciate it! I spotted the opportunity in Sian Meades-Williams’ weekly newsletter late last year, which is a must-subscribe for any journalist; aspiring or experienced. That, Journo Resources, The Writer's Job Newsletter - they’re all gold mines for people in our industry.

What interested you in entering?

Mainly the chance to boost my ego… And the fact it’s a really interesting programme that encourages young writers like myself to think critically about the state of modern society, of course.

In the past, I might not have entered something like this, as I’d be too focused on wondering who else might enter and how they’d probably do a much better job than me. Yet studying at the Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism really taught me to back my abilities and just go for it. So, if you’re wanting to craft a career in writing or journalism, I’ll reiterate that point: take a punt on every opportunity that interests you, regardless of who the competition might be. Only if you have the time and energy for it, though!

How do you feel the prize will benefit you in the future?

While I was joking about the whole ‘ego boost’ thing, it has given me a lot of confidence knowing that experienced industry experts have read my work and thought it was worthy of recognition - so it’s definitely made me a more self-assured writer. It’s a pretty special addition to the CV, too!

And finally, what are your plans for the prize money?

I should say something sensible, like decorating the house- but I’ve wanted to go to Rome for ages, so probably that! Being completely honest, I splashed some of it on a little coffee machine the day after I found out the result… Sometimes I think getting into coffee was the worst mistake of my life - my bank account certainly hates me for it. It tastes so good, though!

Thanks George, a little jealousy crept in there for your Rome trip! It’s great to hear that your Journalism degree at NTU helped give you the confidence to go for this prize. You can find out more about George’s time at NTU and his career here.

Want to follow in George’s footsteps?

We’ll guide and support you into the dynamic world of media and journalism.

Published on 21 March 2023
  • Subject area: Media, journalism and communication
  • Category: Alumni; School of Arts and Humanities