A competition to find the UK and Ireland's best young writers has been launched by Goldsmiths, University of London.
The £1,000 Young Writer Prize mirrors the nationally acclaimed Goldsmiths Prize in seeking to encourage and reward bold and original fiction, and seeks to help resurrect interest in creative writing in schools.
Sixth Form and College students are invited to submit an original short story of no more than 1,000 words using a set of ‘Obstructions’; this could be a title, line of dialogue, character name or something different.
Goldsmiths’ department of English and Comparative Literature and home of the prestigious Goldsmiths Prize, will select a winner from a shortlist of five.
Lee McMahon, Recruitment & Outreach Officer at Goldsmiths, said:
“British and Irish authors enrich the lives of people all over the world - and the Goldsmiths Prize has reminded audiences that stories can still be told in fresh and exciting ways. Yet creative writing risks falling out of fashion in schools and colleges.
“For our literary culture to keep moving forward, it needs to welcome people of all ages and backgrounds - so we’ve conceived the Young Writer Prize to get people thinking, talking and writing about the stories they have to tell. It’s becoming increasingly important that young people have a voice – and the Young Writer Prize is just one way of helping those voices to be heard."
People studying at a College or Sixth Form anywhere in England and Ireland will be eligible to apply. Those wishing to apply need to register by 30th April 2017; they will then have two months to work on their submission. The shortlist will be announced in September, and the winner will be named in October.
The annual Goldsmiths Prize, created in association with the New Statesman, is recognised as among the UK's most significant literary awards.
Eimear McBride's A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing was awarded the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize in 2013. Ali Smith’s How to Be Both won in 2014, with Smith later giving credit to the Goldsmiths Prize for encouraging greater risk-taking in the publishing world. Kevin Barry’s Beatlebone was the winner in 2015, and Mike McCormack's Solar Bones, claimed the prize in 2016.
For more details about the Young Writer Prize, visit www.gold.ac.uk/young-writer-prize.