Take Part In Our Black History Month Journalism Competition

| 12 September 2006
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photo shows woman in pink top holding an old newspaper whilst sitting next to grave

We invited actress Judith Jacob to choose a story from London's Black history to launch our competition. She chose newspaper editor and activist Claudia Jones. Jones died suddenly over Christmas 1964 and is now buried in Highgate cemetery, next to Karl Marx. Judith holds the last paper that Claudia contributed to - with her article on Dr Martin Luther King on one side, and the announcement of her death on the other.

Like the idea of being a historian or a journalist? To celebrate Black History Month, untoldLondon is launching a writing competition. We invite you to write 500 - 1,000 words on any aspect of Black History that you can find in London.

If your piece of history journalism is amongst the winners, you'll see your article up on the web, and there will be great prizes, including digital cameras. There are two categories: under 18 and over 18.

We're running the competition because although the breadth and variety of stories that are told during Black History Month are growing every year, there are still thousands of tales that get overlooked. We hope this will be a chance to give a few of them a public airing.

photo shows bone carved in the shape of a man's head

A Roman scoop or spoon showing what may be the head of an African man. Dug up in Thames Street, London.

What can I write about?

London's museums contain objects from across Africa and the Caribbean, each telling stories about the technology and cultures of their makers. There are also many stories about Black people in London itself. So you could write about:

- any object in a London museum
- a landmark
- a blue plaque
- a Black person in London history
- or even interview an older friend or relative about their memories of significant moments in London's Black history.

Your story does not have to be a piece of original research - but rather a good piece of history journalism that grabs the attention of your readers, and tells a story that has not received much publicity before.

photo shows copy of the voice newspaper with policeman on front

The Voice newspaper for 24th August 1985. It shows a scene from the Notting Hill carnival.

I need inspiration!

Not sure where to start? We've picked an eclectic group of objects and landmarks from across the capital to give you ideas. You're welcome to write about any of these things - or pick a topic of your own.

You can also read our writing tips here.

photo shows yellow poster for superheroes black theatre production

A poster for Black Mime Theatre, one of the black theatre companies set up in the 1970s.

The prizes

The first prize in each category (over 18 and under 18) will be a good digital camera worth £300. Runners up will receive booktokens of £30. All winners will be published on the www.untoldLondon.org.uk website

photo shows coin

A plantation token made of tin, used in the Caribbean. Dated 1666 - 1700.

The small print

1. Please send your entries either by email to the editor, or by post to:

Kate Smith
Editor
www.untoldLondon.org.uk
Museum of London
150 London Wall
EC2Y 5HN

Mark your entry "BHM competition" and remember to let us know if you're entering in the over 18 or under 18 category. Remember to give us your contact address, a daytime phone number, and ideally an email address. None of these will be published on the web, and we won't give your details to anyone else.

2. The closing date is Wednesday October 25th. Any entries reaching us after that date, for whatever reason, can't be considered.

3. If you win, you agree to have your article published on www.untoldLondon.org.uk and also www.24hourmuseum.org.uk The author will retain joint copyright and is free to make any future use of the article that they like. All winners will be named in a byline on the article.

4. We reserve the right to edit winning entries published on our websites.

5. The judges decision is final, and no correspondence can be entered into.

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