Student from Islamabad Wins Prestigious International Creative Writing Award
IGGY, the University of Warwick in the UK’s online educational and social network for gifted young people, has announced the winner for its prestigious IGGY & Litro Young Writers’ Prize as Rahemeen Ahmed, a 16 year old student from The City School in Islamabad.
The IGGY and Litro Young Writers' Prize was open to IGGY Members aged 13-18 and was launched in collaboration with London’s Litro Magazine for the fourth year running. Members submitted short stories no longer than 2,500 words in length on this year's theme of Dream. Competition was fierce, and the judges received many entries from talented young writers from across the globe. In November, IGGY announced the list of six shortlisted young writers aged between 14 and 17 and from countries including Southam College student Brittany Lowe. On 4 December 2013, young writer Rahemeen Ahmed was announced as the overall winner.
The judging panel included writer and critic Ian Sansom; BBC Broadcaster and Writer John McCarthy CBE; creative writer and teacher Francis Gilbert; award-winning writer and performance poet Dean Atta and teenage writer Simi Prasad. The panel were incredibly impressed by Rahemeen’s competition entry. Judging Chair Ian Sansom says:
A good story creates a world which the reader can inhabit: a world of ideas, a world of language, a world of images. Writers play word-games and world-games. Rahemeen Ahmed's story is a small wonder of world-making and word-making. For a moment, the reader inhabits the world of Bana-Mai - sooth-sayer, herb-healer and interpreter of dreams - and then returns to reality, renewed.”
Rahemeen wins a cash prize of £2000 and will see her work in print in London’s Litro Magazine and on IGGY.net. She says:
If being shortlisted was like plunging down from a roller-coaster then winning the IGGY & Litro Young Writers’ Prize was like plunging off the world’s highest cliff. For a long time afterwards, I kept jumping up and down in sheer excitement and disbelief. Thank you to all the judges who considered my story good enough for winning the award, for their interest, for their effort. And of course, to IGGY and Litro who were responsible for this competition, who gave me an incredible opportunity to explore myself as a writer and who gave me the most momentous moment of my life.”
IGGY and Litro Magazine have partnered on an annual young writers’ competition for the last four years, and many teenagers have been inspired to continue to develop their writing skills through this award. Ken Sloan, Registrar and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Warwick, says:
IGGY is all about providing opportunities for talent to flourish, and we’re delighted to work with Litro for the fourth year to encourage new writing talent. This year we’ve received entries from young people across the world displaying passion, talent and individuality in their writing. Congratulations to the winner and everyone who took part.”
The five runners up will also be awarded £200 each and all shortlisted writers will see their work presented within an e-book on IGGY.net.
- For more information about IGGY's fantastic work reaching gifted students across the world broswe the IGGY website.
- Read more about Litro.
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Writer's Prize microsite
Browse the IGGY & Litro Young Writers' Prize microsite, where you can read the winning story in English and translated into six foreign languages; read the five other shortlisted stories; meet the writers and the judging panel; take a look at some Writing Tips and read entries to the Writing Prize Blog.