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Bradford's young novelists are on the write lines
A murderous detective, a celebrity killed in a private jet explosion and three bodies found in a hotel room were just some of the grisly storylines conjured up by budding crime writers.
The Future Talent Group’s first annual Creative Writing Competition saw teenagers compete to be named the district’s next PD James.
At a prizegiving ceremony held yesterday, the top prize went to Sana Malik, 16, of Manningham, who said she is considering a career as a novelist. The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Khadim Hussain, presented Sana with her award.
He said the talent shown by the budding writers demonstrated the huge potential of the district’s young people.
He said: “I do believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. The huge potential we have in the district needs tapping into. Creative writing is a wonderful talent which needs nurturing and needs to be developed.”
In the contest, which was run in association with the QED Foundation, young people aged 14 to 17 were asked to submit a piece of crime writing, from which finalists and an overall winner were selected by a team of judges. The short stories could be up to 2,000 words long and had to be on the theme Private Eye.
The writers were also given the first line: “The detective saw his opportunity. He grabbed the waitress’s arm and said. . .”
Judging the entries were former head teacher and educational advisor, Michael Latham, critically-acclaimed novelist, scriptwriter and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Qaisra Shahraz and Telegraph & Argus content editor and author David Barnett.
Mr Barnett urged the young writers to keep working at their craft, and joked that they would soon be competing with him.
He said: “I’m really worried about the competition now, after reading these entries, so keep it up – but don’t get too close!”
Second prize was awarded to 17-year-old Saqib Butt, of Bradford and third prize was awarded to 15-year-old Farah Khan, of Little Horton.
The runners-up were Bethan Harris, Elizabeth Jones, Faisal Haider, Fyqa Qureshi, Liam Hargreaves, Maivish Iqbal and Zeeshan Ali.
Nasir Haider, chairman of The Future Talent Group, said they hoped to hold another contest next year, and would be adding a category for writers younger than 14.
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