The Born Digital Wine Awards shortlist was announced yesterday, and one of my articles was included in the Best Editorial / Opinion Wine Writing category. It's a piece I wrote about Carcavelos, published on the Shorthand platform.

There are only a handful of wine writing awards, but I try to enter them all. I've never won anything, but have been a finalist quite a few times. I reckon they are important for several reasons.

Firstly, they are great for motivation and encouragement. When I started writing, entering the Young Wine Writer of the Year award was a really important objective for me, and it was fundamental in improving my writing and giving me the opportunities that helped develop my early career. Today, I still enter competitions to try and improve my work - and because you never know where it might lead.

Also, they provide valuable perspective. The Born Digital Wine Awards had 267 entries; the current JancisRobinson.com writing competition had 180 entries. Reading the shortlisted pieces is a great way of seeing how competitive wine writing is. It is a great opportunity to read a variety of styles and topics, which should hopefully provide inspiration and interest for aspiring writers at any level.

And of course, there is the chance of winning. Not only does that often involve a cash prize, but it also brings a certain degree of recognition - both of which are in pretty short supply within the wine writing world!

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