The BBC has kickstarted its quest to unearth the next crop of winners for its Young Reporter competition, now in its sixth year. Aimed at youngsters aged 11-18, the annual storytelling contest encourages participants to submit their original ideas.

Winners will seize the unique opportunity to showcase their stories on various BBC programs and platforms, ensuring a broad reach across the network’s diverse audiences. This year’s theme is centred around “Me and My World.”

In previous editions, victors have delved into personal narratives, tackling issues of significance to young people such as the care system, artificial intelligence, cybercrime, music education, living with OCD, and diversity in sports.

The competition hinges on the submission of the most innovative and compelling story ideas. A distinguished panel consisting of presenters, reporters, senior editors, and producers from various BBC content outlets, including Newsbeat, Newsround, BBC Sport, Radio 5 Live, and The One Show, will judge the entries.

Individuals or groups of young people can submit their story ideas, with a total of 18 winning stories to be selected and commissioned. This includes three national winners and 15 regional winners from across the UK, including a Welsh language champion.

Collaborating with BBC journalists, producers, and program makers, the winners will fine-tune their stories for broadcast on BBC platforms. The submission window is open until 23:00 on Sunday, March 24, 2024, with entries accepted through the online form at bbc.co.uk/youngreportercompetition. Welsh language submissions can be made via www.bbc.co.uk/cystadleuaethgohebyddifanc.

The announcement of the winners is scheduled for June.

BBC Young Reporter, a journalism and media initiative by the BBC, plays a pivotal role in nurturing the content creation skills of young people. This project aligns with the BBC’s commitment to media literacy and supporting youth engagement in broadcasting and the creative industries.

The judging panel for this year’s competition includes esteemed BBC journalists and presenters, among them Naga Munchetty, Alex Jones, Pria Rai, Ashley-John Baptiste, Nikki Fox, and Ricky Boleto.

Naga says: “I’m delighted to be involved again. Young reporters bring a perspective that is much needed in news journalism. Everything that we can do to bring a variety of experiences to our audience can only enrich our knowledge and understanding of the world we live in.”

Pria says: “BBC Young Reporter Competition is such an exciting opportunity to share important stories. There’s so much to be said for hearing about an experience directly from someone affected; it can often help other people to talk about an issue too, and that has always been one of the most rewarding parts for me as a journalist. It’s a total honour to be a judge for the competition and I can’t wait to read this year’s entries.”

The BBC Young Reporter Festival, scheduled for March 5-6 in Glasgow, will involve hundreds of young participants from Scotland and other regions across the UK, with virtual participation options available. The festival features workshops on media skills and masterclasses with the talent behind BBC The Social, BBC Scotland’s L.A.B, and various BBC journalists.

Last year’s winners, including stories on the potential and risks of AI in the classroom, the development of women’s football in Scotland, the future of brass bands, and the community connection of grassroots football clubs, exemplify the diverse and impactful narratives celebrated by the competition.

For more information, including terms and conditions, visit www.bbc.co.uk/youngreportercompetition. Explore additional details about the BBC Young Reporter initiative at www.bbc.co.uk/youngreporter.