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Julia Belluz wins second Bernard Levin Award

Julia Belluz, MSc student in social anthropology, is the second winner of the Bernard Levin Award, with her essay London as a Moveable Feast.

The Award, set up in 2007 to celebrate the life of Bernard Levin, LSE alumnus and outstanding journalist, invites LSE students to enter a competition to win an internship with a media organisation (at The Times for 2007 and 2008) plus £500 and a night at the theatre or opera, by submitting a 1,000 word article on the life around the School campus in central London.

Photograph of Justin Gest and Julia BelluzJulia (pictured here with last year's winner Justin Gest) wrote an original essay split into four 'vignettes' - the first, a conversation about gender-based cultural practices, second, student pursuit of the Italian ice-cream gelato, third, an LSE performance at the Old Vic Theatre and finally, ideas sprung from a trip to Madrid.

The judges said they 'especially liked the structure, as well as the way the essay holds the readers interest and the writing quality'.

At the award presentation, held on Friday 9 May, Julia was given a cheque for £500 and invited to celebrate her success with an evening at the theatre or opera, before commencing on her internship at The Times, where Bernard Levin ended his career as an influential columnist.

She said: 'Receiving this award is a great honour. Now living up to the Levin legacy is the great challenge. I think any young journalist would be pleased with a career that is a fraction as rich and colourful as Levin's.'

The judging panel, chaired by Sir John Burgh, lifelong friend of Bernard Levin and LSE alumnus, included; Christopher McKane, executive editor of  The Times; David Kingsley, friend of Bernard Levin, LSE alumnus and chair of the LSE Alumni Association; Bel Mooney, freelance journalist, writer and broadcaster; Ayesha Karim Khah, LSE alumnus and author's agent; Chris Hare, a student and president of the literature society; and Kevin Perry, executive editor of The Beaver  - the LSE Students' Union newspaper.

Winnder and runners-up of the Bernard Levin AwardThere were three runners up this year (pictured here with the winner), Lindsey Hall (MSc Media and Communications) with Let's all go Down to the Strand, Elisa Prosperetti (third year, BSc History and International Relations) with The Opiate of the Achiever, and Alex Teytelboym (third year, BSc Economics) with  An Unusual Reunion. The runners up were all 'considered of excellent character and interest, for both content and style'.

Click here to read the winning essay London as a Moveable Feast| (PDF)

Click here to read about last year's winner - Justin Gest|


Bernard Levin (BSc Government 1949) started his journalism career whilst at LSE - contributing to the School's Clare Market Review magazine and Beaver newspaper. He went on to become the top columnist at The Times after writing for The Guardian, The Observer, The Spectator and contributing to many other journals and books on subjects ranging from travel to opera.

Click here to read samples of Bernard Levin's writing| (PDF)

The deadline for the 2009 award is Saturday 28 February 2009. For more details please email su.treasurer@lse.ac.uk| Entries must be submitted to: The Annual Bernard Levin Award, c/o The Treasurer, LSE Students' Union, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE.

13 May 2008