BBC Young Writers' Award with BookTrust 2016
14-year-old Lizzie Freestone, the youngest writer shortlisted for the 2016's Award, has won for her short story 'Ode to a Boy Musician'.
Inspired by her household piano, the story was described by author and judge Juno Dawson as a 'haunting, intriguing and lyrical story' and by poet and judge Anthony Anaxagorou as a 'brilliant piece of storytelling'.
'Ode to a Boy Musician', is the haunting story of a boy set free from his fearful and narrow life by his talent as a musician. When the boy stops playing and 'snaps back to reality' we learn exactly how he will get his just revenge.
Describing writing as her favourite hobby, Lizzie says 'sometimes I pick competitions just so I have a deadline to work to. Usually I don't enter, but I really liked this story so I thought…what's the worst that can happen?'
Lizzie will hear her story read by actress Daisy Ridley, 'Rey' from Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Huw Stephens' show on BBC Radio 1 at 11pm tonight.
She will also receive a personalised mentoring session with poet and playwright, and one of this year's Young Writers' Award judges, Anthony Anaxagorou, to further develop her writing skills.
Juno Dawson, 'Queen of Teen' fellow Award judge says:
All of the shortlisted writers should be very proud, but the judges were unanimous in selecting Lizzie Freestone. Ode to a Boy Musician is a haunting, intriguing and lyrical story which, in less than 700 words, has a well-developed beginning, middle and end. Lizzie's writing feels timeless and effortless.
Commenting on her second year as Chair of Judges, Alice Levine, BBC Radio 1 presenter says:
The winner this year will undoubtedly go on to very exciting things. I really hope this is the first step on a literary journey for Lizzie because I personally can't wait to read what she does next.
This is the second year of the BBC Young Writers' Award, which invites 14 to 18 year-olds living in the United Kingdom to submit short stories of up to 1,000 words.
Alice Levine joined BBC Radio 1 in January 2013 launching the new ten to midnight Monday - Thursday show with Phil Taggart. In September 2014 Alice launched a new weekend show between 1-4pm.
Outside of Radio 1, Alice's has hosted a vast range of television shows including; The Barclaycard Mercury Music Sessions, BASCA at the Ivor Novellos, the Isle Of Wight coverage for Sky Arts, the live coverage for BBC Three at Radio 1's Big Weekend from Derry. Alice also hosted for Mercury across their nominations and awards programmes, the AIM awards and also the Women in Music awards. The highlight of 2014 however was being involved in Gareth Malone's Choir for Children in Need. As a team they raised lots for charity and even bagged a UK number 1 with the official Children In Need single.
In 2011, Alice began a three year stint as the host of anarchic Big Brother spin off show Bit On The Side, she has also been on the presenting team for ITV2's The Hot Desk since 2012 where interviews have included Pink and Little Mix.
Queen of Teen 2014 Juno Dawson - formerly known as James - is the multi award-winning author of five novels for young adults including the Carnegie nominated Say Her Name and latest novel, All of the Above. In 2016, she will author one of the World Book Day titles: Spot the Difference.
Juno also writes non-fiction, including the ultimate survival guide for young LGBT people, This Book is Gay, and Mind Your Head, everything a young person needs to know about mental health.
Juno is a regular contributor to Attitude Magazine, Glamour Magazine and The Guardian and has contributed to news items on BBC Women's Hour, Front Row, ITV News, Channel 5 News, This Morning and Newsnight concerning sexuality, identity, literature and education.
Juno grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of Doctor Who. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing luminaries such as Steps and Atomic Kitten before writing a weekly serial in a Brighton newspaper. In 2015, Juno announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman.
Juno writes full time and lives in Brighton. In her spare time, she STILL loves Doctor Who and is a keen follower of horror films and connoisseur of pop music. In 2014 Juno became a School Role Model for the charity Stonewall.
Anthony Anaxagorou is an award winning poet, prose writer, playwright and educator. He has published eight volumes of poetry, a spoken word EP, a book of short stories and has written for theatre.
His poetry has appeared on various BBC programs over the past decade, whilst also featuring in the British Urban Film Awards and BBC 6 Music. In 2013, his poem Dialectics was interpreted and performed by Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas.
He is currently the poet in residence at several London schools where he teaches poetry and creative writing while working closely with The Poetry Society and First Story. In 2014 he completed his first successful tour of Australia.
In 2015 his poetry and fiction writing won him the Groucho Maverick Award.
He founded Out-Spoken in 2012 and has since launched Out-Spoken Press, a publishing house specialising in poetry, plays and critical writing. His work has subsequently been studied in universities across the USA and Australia, as well as being translated into Spanish, German, French and Japanese.
About the BBC Young Writers' Award with BookTrust 2016
The BBC Young Writers' Award with BookTrust is a partnership between the BBC and BookTrust.
The award launched in 2014 as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of the BBC National Short Story Award with BookTrust. The aim of the Award is to inspire and encourage the next generation of writers to follow in the footsteps of those championed by the adult Award. The ambition of the BBC and Book Trust is to enable young people to write to a high standard, experiment with form, be daring and make their mark.
The submission period for this year's Award will run until 5pm (BST), Friday 29 April.
If you have any queries about the Award, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jenny Holder on 0207 801 8843