Grief, male sexuality, the plight of pets in Covid-stricken Wuhan, and Scottish teenagers’ love lives are amongst the themes of the twelve winning entries of the Creative Future Writers’ Award, announced Tuesday 28 July.
Now in its seventh year, the prize celebrates exceptional writing from under-represented writers, who lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, identity, health or social circumstance. Across two categories, prose and poetry, the judges recognised the hugely impressive achievements of twelve writers, with the most outstanding work in each category awarded Platinum, and the ten other works awarded Gold, Silver, Bronze, Highly Commended and Commended.
Leading the winners are Michele Powponne, a mental health and social worker who has won Platinum prize for prose with Olive, an account of a ‘sent woman’ who travelled to London for marriage from the Caribbean; and Alex Matraxia, a London-based poet, who has won the Platinum prize for poetry with Male Nudes by George Platt Lynes, a touching exploration of male sexuality and vulnerability.
The other prize winners include Heenali Patel, a professional Tarot card reader and women’s rights campaigner (Silver, Prose); Laura Leung-How (Bronze, Prose), who has previously been shortlisted for the Penguin Random House Write Now competition; British- Malaysian-Chinese poet Chloe Elliot (Gold, Poetry) and Dead [Women] Poets Society co-founder Helen Bowell (Bronze, Poetry).
Judge Kerry Hudson, the award-winning author of Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma, said:
The Creative Future Writers’ Award is one of the highlights of the annual literary calendar as far as I am concerned. It does what a prize for emerging writers should – discovers astounding new talent that might otherwise go unrecognised. This year the entries were incredibly diverse but what connected them all was the high, high quality of the prose and entirely unique perspectives on themes. If this list is any indication the future of writing is bright!”
Winning submissions are published in an anthology, Tomorrow, alongside work by the guest authors. The 2020 anthology is now available to pre-order from our website here