Guardian music journalist joins Amnesty's search to find the nation's new protest song writer

The Guardian’s acclaimed music journalist Dorian Lynskey today called on the nation’s young people to take up Amnesty International’s challenge to become the country’s next top protest song writer.

The competition, which will help to find the UK’s answer to Bob Dylan, Joan Baez or Black Eyed Peas, is open to all UK-based secondary and further education students aged 11-19. It closes on 18 February.

To make the competition accessible for everyone there are two categories– Best Lyrics and Best Performance.

Dorian Lynskey, who has also agreed to judge the competition, said:

“As a teenager I became politicised largely by music and music journalism. Good protest songs can express political ideas and emotions like nothing else and I’m delighted to be part of Amnesty’s efforts to inspire young songwriters to try their hand at this challenging and rewarding form.”

Dorian joins renowned rapper and poet Kate Tempest on the judging panel.

The competition is part of Amnesty’s new education pack The Power of Our Voices .

The interactive pack on protest songs, human rights and the lyrics of social change is targeted at 11-16 year-olds and includes an assembly, lesson plans for English, Music and Citizenship, but also a competition encouraging people to write their own protest song.

Prizes include having work published by Amnesty and performing at a prestigious awards ceremony at Amnesty’s headquarters on 30 April. In addition one winner will receive the Grand Prize of a school visit, performance and workshop from Kate Tempest.

Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“Through this pack students will learn how artists have used their words and music to make a stand for human rights and fight for change.

“We want to make the pursuit of human rights real and alive for students to be inspired by people’s extraordinary capacities for courage and compassion even in the most challenging situations.”

To order the new pack or to find out more about how to enter the competition visit

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