This year, our doors were flooded with hundreds of entries and it was a challenge to whittle all your amazing columns down to just 12 finalists! Thank you so much to everyone who entered, the standard has simply blown us all away.

It was a pleasure to read each and every entry; the variety of themes and topics was impressive and we saw new topics that have never appeared in the YJOTY competition before! The content ranged from animal welfare to politics, from the environment to warfare. Without a doubt, this year has presented the hardest decision in terms of finalists; the columns were so diverse and the calibre of writing was outstanding.

Everyone who entered should be extremely proud of themselves. We were overwhelmed by the amount of research, thought and effort that had clearly been involved. The panel has now selected 12 finalists who have all been contacted and the overall winner will be announced in October and the winning column will be published in First News. The winner will receive a bundle of STABILO goodies for everyone in their class and the runners up will all be sent a lovely STABILO bundle to enjoy!

Finalists:

  • Erin McHugh, aged 7. Topic: Deforestation
  • Maximilian Kalyuzhnov, 8 years old. Topic: Friendship
  • London-Jai Egwu, aged 9. Topic: Global Warming
  • Evan Lewis, aged 9. Topic: D-Day
  • Tom Bishop, 10 years old. Topic: Fox Hunting
  • Sasha Selhi, 10 years old. Topic: Changing Rooms
  • Lois Elizabeth Collett, 10 years old. Topic: School Values
  • Rory Lewis, 11 years old. Topic: Public Opinion
  • Eve Lawson, 12 years old. Topic: Grammar
  • Nathan Kahl, 12 years old. Topic: Eating Habits
  • Jessica Bevan, 14 years old. Topic: Environment
  • Eve Tobin, 14 years old. Topic: Landmines
Need a little help getting started? The experts at STABILO have pulled together their top four column tips:
Top Tips -“ Be snap happy and take some photos to support your story and bring it to life.
Write about something important to you -“ if it makes you feel strongly, it will show in your writing.
Read for inspiration! - Get familiar with magazines, newspapers and online media to get a feel for the different ways that news is reported.
Keep your eyes and ears open at all times - You never know when the perfect story is going to materialise!
A column is an article where the writer gives their opinion on an important issue. You can find columns in newspapers, magazines and on websites. All sorts of people have written columns, including many famous people. Among these are Good Morning Britain presenter Kate Garraway, Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton and celebrity vlogger Zoella.