Earlier this week, I was privileged to attend the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Awards Showcase, where the winners of this SBT scheme read extracts from their startlingly good new writing, and where we were all given a lovely little book of their writing.
I can take a tiny bit of credit for how wonderful the evening was, because I was one of the panel who chose the two new Children's and Young Adult Fiction writers. (A process so wrapped in secrecy and cloaked in mystery that I can say NOTHING about it at all...)
But I can say that we chose Claire Squires and Michael Richardson, and I can also say that all the new writers were fantastic and all their new writing was great... it was a really inspiring evening. The awards they received were pretty impressive too – including mentoring, a week long retreat, and a grant to help with the costs of finding time to write. An amazing leg up and helping hand for anyone trying to work out how to be the best writer they can be.
And most people need a leg up of some kind at the start (or even in the middle...) of their writing career. For example, I got my start when I entered the Kelpies Prize with a draft of my first children’s novel, First Aid for Fairies. It didn’t win, but being shortlisted led to all sorts of other opportunities...
So well done to the organisers of initiatives like this, and best of luck to anyone entering competitions or awards to give them a bit of a leg up, a helping hand, and a bouncy friendly start to their writing career.
And especially well done to Claire Squires and Michael Richardson, both of whom I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about in the future, as they move from being new writers to published writers!
Lari Don is surprised to discover that she’s no longer a new writer – she’s now written more than 20 books for all ages, including a teen thriller, fantasy novels for 8 – 12s, picture books, retellings of traditional tales and novellas for reluctant readers.
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