The GNE Young Writers & Public Speaking Awards

The GNE Awards is an annual event consisting of two English language competitions for 16 to 20 year-olds in the Netherlands.The competitions run from January to March each year, with the National Final in April.

The GNE Awards is organised by the Netherlands - England Society (Genootschap Nederland-Engeland)

Some practical information in a nutshell:

For whom?

For 16 – 20 year old secondary school and HBO students


Giving students the opportunity to step into the spotlight and showcase their English communication skills


Public Speaking and Writing an Opinion Piece


Speaking preliminaries: Saturdays in March 2015
Closing date entries Writing Awards: 20 February 2015
Semi-Final and National Final Speaking and Writing Awards: April 2015


From November onwards


History of the GNE Awards

The GNE Young Writers and Public Speaking Awards are organised by the Netherlands-England Society (GNE). The organising committee consists of Ingrid de Beer (chair), Stephen Cannan and Ann Finch. The first competition was run over 27 years ago in 1988, since when it has become a successful annual event with hundreds of participants from all over The Netherlands.

Through the years, the Awards has been supported and sponsored by many companies, organisations and individuals. They have contributed in many different ways, by providing facilities, publicity, prizes or just financial support to make this exciting competition possible. The Awards collaborates closely with the English-Speaking Union (ESU), and the GNE Awards provides the Dutch entrant to each year`s ESU International Public Speaking Competition (IPSC) in London, which has frequently gone on to win a prize.

Learning languages is hard work and deserves to be rewarded. To young people who strive to achieve excellence in English and make active use of the English language, the GNE Young Writers and Public Speaking Awards give the opportunity to show their creativity and to express their opinions.

The two GNE Awards (for young people between 16 and 20 years old) form a common focus for developing effective English language skills. Participation will enhance their communication skills in English. It will help them to be more confident and to express themselves better. You will certainly benefit from it in later years.

Informatie voor de Pers

De GNE Awards 2015 worden georganiseerd door het Genootschap Nederland-Engeland (GNE) in samenwerking met de English-Speaking Union (ESU).

De Awards bestaan uit twee onderdelen:

  1. De Public Speaking Award
  2. De Young Writers Award

Aan jonge mensen, die met steun van hun docenten, een uitstekende beheersing van de Engelse taal proberen te bereiken en actief gebruik maken van de Engelse taal, bieden de GNE Awards gelegenheid hun mening voor een jong publiek uit te spreken, die net als zijzelf met vragen over hun eigen leven en hun hoop voor de toekomst geconfronteerd worden.

De twee GNE Awards voor jonge mensen van 16 tot 20 jaar concentreren zich op de ontwikkeling van doeltreffende vaardigheden in de Engelse taal. Deelname zal de communicatieve vaardigheden van jonge mensen in het Engels verhogen. Dit helpt hen meer vertrouwen te krijgen, zich beter uit te drukken en het zal hen in hun verdere ontwikkeling zeker van nut zijn.

Download hier de GNE-Awards Flyer.

Young Writers Award

Participants for the Young Writers Award have to write an opinion piece for a newspaper. As is common in journalism, they need to keep strictly within a maximum number of words.

  • Participants must write about one of the following topics:
  • Should the general public understand science?
  • We must fundamentally rethink our food systems.
  • Should cultural traditions adapt to the changing times?
  • Will robots dehumanize health care?
  • Does real change come from above or below?
  • ESU topic: To be ignorant of the past is to remain a child

Public Speaking Award

In the preliminary rounds and Quarter-finals competitors are required to speak on a chosen topic for 5 minutes, followed by 3-minutes to answer questions from the audience. The topics for the GNE Public Speaking Award 2015 are:

  • Should the general public understand science?
  • We must fundamentally rethink our food systems.
  • Should cultural traditions adapt to the changing times?
  • Will robots dehumanize health care?
  • Does real change come from above or below?
  • ESU topic: To be ignorant of the past is to remain a child

De Nationale Finale vindt plaats op zaterdag 18 april bij het Christelijk Lyceum in Zeist. Voor verdere informatie, zie www.gneawards.nl.

Contactpersoon voor de pers is:
Ingrid de Beer
email: info@gneawards.nl


During the GNE lecture season, events are regularly held and talks are given about once a month and unless otherwise stated, these are delivered in English. The visiting speakers are all experts in their chosen fields and their lectures are both informative and entertaining. They may feature different aspects of British life, arts and culture, places and people. Occasionally we are also treated to a traveller`s tale. Wherever possible, lectures are illustrated.
An overview of this year`s programme is given below. For more details on our events and talks please click events & talks. For the full programme with dates, venues and entry fees per branch, please click branches.

John Cameron Webb:

On 27th September John Cameron-Webb and Gerard Sprenger will be conducting a guided tour of the Market Garden battlefield and on 28th touring the border area of Germany looking at the Rhine Crossing battle of Feb-March 1944 Operation Veritable.  The tour will finish at the National War Museum in Overloon, near Venray.
Gerard Sprenger: Former history teacher; avid WWII historian and Dutch Grenadier Guardsman.
John Cameron-Webb: Battlefield guide mainly focussing on WWI, but has conducted Market Garden with Gerard in the past and Waterloo tours. John has organized already four successful trips for GNE and CADS members about WWI and WWII:
• Amsterdam: `War walk` (2011, with Gerard Sprenger);
• Ieper: (2011);
• Albert (France): `Somme Battlefields` (2012);
• Arnhem: Battlefield Tour `Market-Garden` (2013).

Operation Market Garden and Operation Veritable Battlefield More information...