Competition to find Newham’s next writing star

Bestselling authors Vaseem Khan, Barbara Nadel, and Abir Mukherjee are looking for Newham’s next writing star. Newham resident Vaseem Khan waited 23 years for his first book to be published. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra – a charming crime novel set in India and featuring a baby elephant – went on to become a 2015 Times bestseller, and launched Vaseem to the front ranks of British crime fiction. Working with Newham’s Manor Park Library he is inviting budding authors, young and old, to enter a writing competition. “Publishing has long suffered from being a closed shop,” says Vaseem, who is published by Hodder, one of the world’s biggest publishers. ‘But things are changing fast. There is increased room for diverse new voices. People living in communities such as Newham bring colour and stories from all over the world – there is a new appetite in the publishing industry for this sort of work.”

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Barbara Nadel, author of 28 novels and the bestselling Cetin Ikmen series set in Turkey, will be judging entries and presenting the winners at Manor Park Library on the 25th of April at 6pm (put the date in your diary!). She says “My own career shows that anyone from any kind of background can get published and build a strong, loyal readership”. Her latest book The House of Four marks the nineteenth in the Ikmen series.

Abir Mukherjee, whose first book A Rising Man was named The Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month, has been helping Vaseem run a creative writing course at Manor Park library. His journey to publishing is particularly apt. He won the Telegraph Harvill Secker Crime Writing Competition 2014. “I’d always wanted to write a book but never had the confidence,’ says Abir. “Then one morning I saw an interview with Lee Child where he talked about how, at the age of forty, he started writing, and I thought why not? I didn’t expect to win, so it was a complete surprise when I was told that my book was going to be published.”

All three authors explore foreign cultures in their work, but at the same time are rooted to the region in which they grew up. Now they want to encourage other local residents to take the next step. Happy writing!

How to enter

The competition is open to all residents of Newham, London

There are two categories of entry: Adult fiction and Young adult/Children’s fiction

Prizes: £50 to the winner of each category plus a book bundle

Entries can be short stories or the first chapter(s) in a novel

Maximum word limit: 3000 words

Format of entry will be: Computer typed PDF document, double spaced, stating the title of your work, your name, and contact details including email address on the first page.

All entries should be emailed to:

Deadline for entries is: 31st March 2017

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