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Student from Islamabad Wins Prestigious International Creative Writing Award

Rahemeen AhmedIGGY, the University of Warwick's online educational and social network for gifted young people, has announced the winner of 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 held in collaboration with London’s Litro Magazine for the fourth year running.

Members submitted short stories no longer than 2,500 words 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 South Africa, Palestine and the UK. 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 said: "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 £2,000 and will see her work in print in London’s Litro Magazine and on She said:“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, said:“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.”

Eric Akoto, Editor in Chief at Litro Magazine, said: "Each year the strength of the entrants amaze and surprise, the stories grow in maturity and strength of theme. The collection of entries this year is no different, with some very demanding and mature voices for their age."

The five runners up will also be awarded £200 each and all shortlisted writers will see their work presented within an e-book on

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For press enquiries, please contact Jan McQuillan, Digital Marketing Manager

By email:j dot mcquillan at warwick dot ac dot uk

By phone: +44 (0) 2476 151 860

About IGGY

IGGY is a key part of the University of Warwick’s efforts to reach gifted students across the world. In 2012, the University launched; a global online community of gifted young people giving members aged 13-18 access to interactive educational resources and allowing them to work with top academics, student mentors and other gifted young people from around the world. IGGY offers young people a platform to exchange ideas, debate, learn and explore in a safe environment. The site focuses on providing stretching content in core subjects of Maths, English, Science, History, Politics and Life Skills but also covers a wide range of other subjects.

About Litro

London’s Litro finds new ways of looking at the world through stories, seeking out the compelling and the controversial, the funny and the fantastic, the sad and the strange. Although they also publish literary nonfiction and poetry, Litro has traditionally focused on short fiction, armed with a mission to discover new and emerging writers, giving them a platform to be read alongside stalwarts of the literary scene. More recently, they have also added more strings to our bow: including interviews, columns, podcasts, reviews, and features on literature, arts and culture.

For press enquiries, please contact Jan McQuillan, Digital Marketing Manager

By email:j dot mcquillan at warwick dot ac dot uk
By phone: +44 (0) 2476 151 860