Neurodivergent Buckingham poet wins Creative Future Writers’ Award

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A poet and professional pianist from Buckingham has claimed a prize at the prestigious Creative Future Writers’ Award (CFWA), according to Bucks Herald.

The CFWA announced Helen as one of its 12 overall winners for 2022 on 13 September.

Helen Price was diagnosed as autistic with ADHD as a parent in her late 30s and used poetry as a means of understanding and giving voice to neurodivergent identity.

Her poem, ‘From Dr Kanner’s Office’, was a Gold Award winner at this year’s showcase.

It was only bested by Platinum winner in the poetry category who Lerah Mae Barcenilla, who submitted a piece called ‘To Love and Be Loved as a Language Primer’.

She is studying for a degree in creative writing and lives near Buckingham with her husband and three children.

The CWFA is designed to give writers and creatives from underrepresented backgrounds an opportunity to flourish.

Its mission is to make publishing more diverse and representative of the world we live in.

It has found writers can often be marginalised due to mental health issues, disability, identity, health or social circumstance.

Previous winners – such as Kirsty Capes whose novel ‘Careless’ was longlisted for the 2022 Women’s Prize – have gone on to secure agent representation, publication, and to win prestigious literary prizes.

Alongside, £12,000 worth of cash and writing development prizes supplied by prominent publishers, authors and development agencies, Helen will be offered further training, mentoring, one-to-one support and other developmental opportunities.

The shortlisted works which were submitted to the CWFA in both the prose and poetry category included work tackling migration, belonging, human connections, resilience, and lived experiences of autism and gun crime.

Helen won out against a record field of over 1,400 unpublished writers from all across the UK.

Judge of the 2022 Creative Future Writers’ Award, Sunday Times bestselling novelist Dorothy Koomson, said: “It’s such an honour to be judging the Creative Future Writers’ Award again. I was blown away by the range and depth of the pieces submitted. Each of the stories and poems that made the shortlist were entertaining, unique and thought-provoking – something that is usually very difficult for writers to achieve at this stage of their writing journey.”
Image Source: Bucks Herald

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