BBC Young Writers' Award with BookTrust 2016

Latest update 'This year's winner has been announced'

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.


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.


For updates on the Award follow #bbcywa and @Booktrust on Twitter.

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 or call Jenny Holder on 0207 801 8843