Tea, Twitter and sarnies help Tom Hale scoop The Sun's Column Idol prize

Eighteen-year-old Tom Hale has been named the winner of Column Idol 2011, the writing competition run by The Sun and the Media Trust.

Hale was one of six shortlisted for the prize, which was judged by a panel including Sun editor Dominic Mohan, columnist Jane Moore, agony aunt Deirdre Sanders and Media Trust deputy chief executive Katie Lloyd.

He was mentored by The Sun’s assistant news editor Veronica Lorraine and wrote his column on tea, Twitter and sandwiches.

Hale said:

Column Idol was one of the best experiences I’ve had. I got a taste of how a national newspaper is run on a daily basis – but also a chance to develop my skills and grow as both a writer and a person.

Click here to read his winning article.

Lorraine said:

When reading through the hundreds of applications to Column Idol, Tom’s pitch about Tea stood out right from the start, so to be picked as his mentor was an absolute delight.

In the current climate it was particularly satisfying to be able to help and mentor someone so young, so talented and so enthusiastic. I am full of praise to Tom for having the confidence to put across what was actually a serious message in an effortlessly light-hearted, and humourous manner. I hope this is just the beginning, and I expect great things from him.

Finalist Ridhwaan Yusuf was highly commended for his column addressing the lack of Asian footballers in top-flight football and his article was published in The Sun on 22 September.

Last year’s winner, Lee Price, is now working at the paper as a features writer.

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