This year’s BBC Young Writer’s Award shortlist is brimming with creative ideas


If you’re an aspiring author, there’s plenty of options to get your work seen nowadays. There’re numerous ways to showcase your work digitally, including blogs, social media pages and submitting your work directly to publishers. Although it’s not unheard of for young people to become published writers – just look at Anna Todd being picked up after people reading her fan fiction, the industry is still dominated by older individuals.

BBC Young Writer's Award
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We’re encouraged and pushed to use our imagination at a young age, creating stories for school and developing and playing games within fantasy worlds. It almost seems to me, that if you don’t take English or creative writing as a subject later in life, that push and that acceptance is taken away.

BBC Young Writer’s Award does exactly that, by encouraging 14-18-year-olds to put pen to paper or let’s be real, fingers to keyboards to write a story up to 1000 words, regardless of narrative styles. This year, the shortlisted writer’s themes range from loss of innocence, the unravelling of a dementia sufferer and a child’s quiet revenge through music.

BBC Young Writers Award 2016
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Take a closer look at the lucky shortlisted concepts below.

  • ‘Liar, Liar’ by Sumner Brook, 19, from A surreal and wry story with a fairy-tale quality that explores the notion of ‘misdeeds reaping just rewards’.
  • ‘Life in Reverse’ by Rebekah Cohen, 16, from South Yorkshire. A heartbreaking, a melancholic story of a mind unravelling as dementia takes hold, which was inspired by a classroom reading of Shakespeare’s ‘Seven Ages of Man’.
  • ‘Ode to a Boy Musician’ by Lizzie Freestone, 14, from Inspired by Lizzie’s household piano, this is a poetic and lyrical story of a boy set free by music.
  • ‘The Good Son’ by Hilla Hamidi, 17, from Inspired by Seamus Heaney’s ‘Digging’, this story is brutal in its depiction of the tension between childhood memories and adult reality as a potent memory is unveiled in all its horror.
  • ‘Innocence Lost’ by Alan Taylor, 17, from Inspired by the film, The Revenant and Chinua Achebe’s classic novel, Things Fall Apart, this is an atmospheric rite of passage story with a dramatic twist, as a young boy undergoes his initiation into manhood.

You’ll have to wait until October 4th to find out who the overall winner is, which will be announced live on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Front Row’. The winning story will then be read on Huw Stephen’s BBC Radio 1 show on October 4th at 11pm.

For more information on the BBC Young Writer’s Award, click here.

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