Karyn Miller, commissioning editor on the Mail on Sunday’s Night and Day magazine, has won this year’s Catherine Pakenham Award.
Miller received her £1,000 prize from novelist Joanna Trollope and was commissioned to write for the Sunday Telegraph review section. The 24-year-old said she was thrilled and honoured to be selected for the prize, of which previous winners include Tina Brown and Polly Toynbee.
“It’s wonderful. I didn’t expect it and I’m still quite dazed,” she said.
Her piece, about the history of Clacton pier, was intertwined with childhood memories of the attraction. She found inspiration in a collection of 1890s Clacton tourist brochures she found in the British Library.
“I grew up in Clacton-on-Sea in the Eighties, when it was a pretty miserable place to be,” said Miller. “That’s what I thought at the time but these crumbly old documents changed my mind.”
The Pakenham Award for young female journalists commemorates the late Lord Longford’s journalist daughter, who died in a car crash aged 23 in 1969.
Responding to claims that excluding men from the award may be unfair, Miller said: “Although women have made great inroads into the industry, I think it’s still quite special to have an award for young female journalists.” Miller began her career on Vogue, which she joined from university after winning a talent contest in 2000.