Writing Competition | What is Wilderball?

We are bloody thrilled to announce the first Dem Blades writing competition. 

Entrants are invited to submit an article of no more than 1,200 words that answers the question: What is Wilderball? 

Entries should be sent by email to hello@demblades.co.uk – with “writing competition” made obvious enough that we’ll notice it in the subject line.

The closing date for submissions is Saturday, 9th of May, 2019. 

The judging panel will be made up of Sky Sports’ football editor Kate Burlaga,  Danny Hall author of He’s one of our own – both excellent journalists, both Blades – and our editor, Sam Parry.

The panel will read through all shortlisted entries, before deciding on their favourite two articles. The final two will be published on demblades.co.uk and then the public will decide the winner by a secret, online ballot.

There will be a £50 cash prize + Blades’ goodies for the winner. Second place will receive a load of Blades’ goodies. All shortlisted entries will be published as part of Dem Blades Annual 2019: the away edition.


What the judges have to say

Kate Burlaga – “Hook with your first sentence, punch with your last. Make me think, make me laugh, make me feel something, tell a story. Spelling and grammar matter but these are your words: play with language, experiment with sentence structure, be as creative as the gaffer is with his centre-backs!”

Danny Hall – “After enjoying the first two issues of Dem Blades and the quality of writing within, I’m really looking forward to seeing some more examples from the people who understand United more than anyone – the fans. That passion and knowledge that can only come from following a team – your team – across the country and over the world can give a piece of writing something extra special and I’m excited to see what comes up from this process.”

Sam at DemBlades – “I’m most looking forward to seeing how the brief is interpreted. Wilderball (or Tuftyball as some people prefer) is brilliant to watch and I’m excited to read how it is expressed in writing. I hope the question elicits different styles. My one tip: I’m happy to read about overlapping centrebacks, but I’d love to read something new about them, a sidewards take or an analytical deep dive or something anecdotal.”

Rules and FAQ:

How long should it be? Less than 1,200 words.

Does it have to be original work? Of course.

I don’t understand what you mean by Wilderball?Well, that’s no good. We’re looking for someone who can articulate what Wilderball is…we will simply define it as being “what makes a Wilder team a Wilder team.” This could raise questions about tactics, man-management, culture, the link between fans and players, the success…is that clearer?

Can I send as a Word document? If we can copy and paste your words, you can send it how you like…by email ONLY! Word docs, or using the body of an email is preferable. Sorry, we can’t accept postal submissions.

How does the judging work? Then the judging panel will independently rank the shortlisted articles from most to leave favourite. The final two articles will be published on our website and be but to a public vote. The vote itself will be secret, i.e, the public will not be able to see who is winning until the vote ends. 

Any further questions, do contact Sam and Sam at hello@demblades.co.uk

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