Coventry University student shortlisted for Big Issue writing award

Student news

Thursday 26 September 2013

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A student from Coventry University is celebrating after a short story he penned was nominated for a major writing award.

Aspiring author Raef Boylan, a second-year English and Creative Writing student, has been shortlisted for The Big Issue in the North New Writing Award. Raef’s short story Nights Out was one of ten works selected from a total of 110 entries in the competition, which is in its first year.

This Big Issue in the North New Writing Award provides emerging writers with a publishing opportunity and a first prize of £1,000, in addition to raising funds for The Big Issue in the North Trust, the charity arm of the magazine.

An event to announce the overall winner will be held at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation on Saturday 12 October, as part of the Manchester Literature Festival. The Big Issue in the North is media partner to the festival. The ten shortlisted works will be also published in an anthology produced by Valley Press, available to buy at the final event.

Nights Out, which this year came second in Coventry University’s own short story competition for its Coventry Words magazine, is an introspective piece from the point of view of a character in his late-teens. The piece invites readers to follow the erratic internal discourse of its protagonist as he muses over conflicting emotions, striving to feel comfortable in his own life.

Raef Boylan said:

Nights Out was written in response to books, magazines and TV shows that glamorise teenage years while censoring all the mundane bits.

I’m really pleased that it has been selected for The Big Issue in the North New Writing Award and I’m looking forward to seeing it in print in the forthcoming anthology.

Alyson Morris, Executive Editor of Coventry Words and Course Director for Coventry University’s new English and Creative Writing degree said:

I’m not surprised that Raef has been shortlisted for this award; he’s a talented writer, and we’re thrilled to have him on our degree course.

For further information, please contact Mark Farnan, communications assistant, Coventry University, on +44 (0)24 7765 8245 or email: