Brit Writers' Awards recognise nine new voices

Brit Writers' Awards recognise nine new voices

<p>The winners of the inaugural Brit Writers&#39; Award were revealed last week, with nine unpublished authors picking up &pound;10,000 in categories that covered poetry, songwriting, short stories, novels, non-fiction and children&#39;s stories. </p><p>The Brit Writers&rsquo; Awards were set up last year to &quot;throw the doors wide open on the traditionally inaccessible publishing industry&quot;, the organisers said. </p><p>The nine winning names came from more than 21,000 entries, and the gongs were presented by representatives from sponsor organisations that included Arts Council England, The Reading Agency and Faber Music. </p><p>Sir Terry Pratchett was named Published Writer of the Year for his new book <em>Nation</em>, in the only category for established authors. </p><p>But the overall winner was former teacher Catherine Cooper for her children&rsquo;s novel <em>The Golden Acorn: The Adventures of Jack Brenin</em>. She was also presented with a surprise prize, as the Brit Writers team had arranged for Cooper&rsquo;s novel to be published in time for the evening, ready to be distributed in UK shops the following day.</p><p>Imran Akram, chief executive of Brit Writers, said: &quot;We just wanted to reinforce our message that anything is possible ... that the publishing world isn&rsquo;t closed to new writers; that there is space for new ideas and dreams to come true. </p><p>&quot;We&rsquo;re delighted for Catherine, who is undoubtedly going to be a very successful author, and also for all our winners and finalists. I think we&rsquo;ve unearthed some real stars with these awards &ndash; and we look forward to receiving submissions for 2011.&quot; </p><p>The Brit Writers awards were founded by the group behind the Muslim Writers Awards, and partners include Downing Street (under Gordon Brown), publisher Infinite Ideas and The Reading Agency.<br /><br />The other winners included: <br /><br />* Katherine Locke - Six Women on Twelve Walks (non-fiction)<br /><br />* Helen Hardy - Crush (short story) <br /><br />* David C. Byrne - Foreign Bodies (poetry collection)<br /><br />* Pamela Vincent - Swamps and Marshes (novel)</p>