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Dizzy RascalHave your very own column printed in The Sun newspaper!

Media Trust and The Sun have launched a quest across the country to find undiscovered talent. With the support of rapper Dizzee Rascal and singer-songwriter Diana Vickers the hunt to find Column Idol 2010 has begun. The competition gives 16-21 year olds who have strong opinions and something to shout about, the chance to write a column for The Sun. They will be mentored by some of The Sun’s top journalists, including Trevor Kavanagh and Gordon Smart. Six entrants will be shortlisted and judged by a panel including Editor Dominic Mohan.

Dominic Mohan, The Sun said: “I am thrilled to be partnering with Media Trust to launch Column Idol, a search across the country for new voices and undiscovered talent. The Sun has a history of supporting and investing in young reporters and I’m proud that some of the paper’s most respected columnists are lending their skill and expertise to mentor young people.”

Dizzee Rascal, fronting the competition said, “Everybody’s got a talent, everybody’s got a skill, some people just don’t have the belief. It doesn’t matter what background you come from, some of the greatest minds were from poor backgrounds, what they had was the drive, the work ethic and the vision. A newspaper like The Sun is informative and entertaining so that is exactly what your column needs to be. It is the same with music, you want to entertain people but tell them something at the same time. My tip to entrants would be, if you have a strong point of view about something you should use that, and I always think it is important to put humour into whatever you write, show your passion and your personality.”

‘Column Idol’ launches on Tuesday 20th July and aspiring writers should visit www.thesun.co.uk/columnidol to enter, submitting a short description about their background, what they’d like to write about and why they deserve to be crowned Column Idol. The closing date for entries is midday Monday 9th August.

The six entrants judged to have the best ideas will be assigned to a Sun journalist who will mentor them through the process, help them to polish their ideas and support them as they write up their columns. The mentors, who will span Sport, News, Features, Bizarre, Live it and Politics departments at The Sun, will be recruited and trained through Media Trust’s Youth Mentoring scheme, which links young people to media industry professionals.

The six young finalists will be invited to present their columns to a high profile judging panel including The Sun’s Editor Dominic Mohan and columnists Lorraine Kelly and Jane Moore. The panel will decide on the winner of the competition, who will have their column featured in The Sun in Autumn 2010.

Katie Simpson, Creative Media Director, Media Trust said, “We’re looking for young people who have incredible stories to tell and want the chance to get their voices heard. This is part of a long term partnership with The Sun and News International and we are delighted to have some of their most esteemed journalists signing up to our Youth Mentoring scheme, which gives industry insight and expertise to young people who wouldn’t normally have access to it.”

Entrants need to be aged between 16-21, living in England and meet the entry terms and conditions as set out on www.thesun.co.uk/columnidol

(Photo courtesy of: The Sun)

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