Member wins the 2020 Young Writer of the Year Award

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14th December 2020 11:38am

Yahye is a member of Young Greenwich who attends its partner sessions delivered by B Young Stars. B Young Stars are a local organisation focusing on extra curriculum education working with young people in the Woolwich and Plumstead area of the borough. In November, Yahye‘s creative skills contributed to him winning the Sunday Times / University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award. The Young Writer of the Year Award is a platform which also showcases creative writing and offers £5,000 prize for an outstanding work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry from a writer aged 35 or under.

We spoke with Yahye to hear more about his creative writing journey.

When did your interest in reading and poetry begin? 

It all started when I was in primary school, where there was a competition for the year older than us, it was called the Young Writers. I came home and started to research and found many creative stories. I read and read them, which intrigued me to carry on. My mother saw my interest one day, so she took me one day to the library and I stayed there reading fiction stories until it closed. In year 7, I took a long break from reading but during the pandemic, I read a book called Captain Underpants by Pav Pilkey and BFG by Roald Dahl. Both books inspired me to open my imagination again, so I did. Me and my brother would go on Saturday and go to the library and max out our library card and come home straight away and read. It was fun.

What do you like about writing?

To me, writing means asking myself the questions I desperately need to consider. It means searching for a greater meaning to things and people. When I am writing, I have all the time in the world to put my feelings into words, and in a way that others will understand.

How does writing help you?

It helps me to clear my mind to create my own universe; a way to convey my form of expression. Writing lets me get out my feelings and thoughts on a subject.

How did you find out about the Young Writer Award?

I was sitting on my computer completing my independent learning when I scrolled down and saw a message from my teacher asking people in my school to compete in this competition. This was before lockdown happened. I was wondering if I should it compete or not then, I did. I didn’t have intent to actually win and get it published.

How did you find out about winning the Young Writer Award?

I woke up and was about to start my usual routine then, I got the mail from my dad and saw my name on one of them, I was confused because usually I don’t get mails. I opened it and saw ‘Young Writer’ I forgot I competed for this competition so I just put it on the table but after seeing a gold border I opened it and it was a certificate. I read the paper in confusion and saw that I won and ran to my parents to tell them.

Now that you will be a published writer, what’s next for you?

To write more poems and hope for them to get published now understanding my special ability, I hope in the upcoming years I use it wisely. 

How do you feel about getting support from B Young Stars and Young Greenwich?

B young Stars and Young Greenwich has helped me so much from wellbeing classes to empowering, supporting and creating a better vision for the youth, I am really grateful.


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