Former University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student Jennifer Lane has won a Northern Writers’ Award in the Children’s and Young Adult Fiction category.
Her children’s novel, titled The Second Hand Boy, earned her a prize at the New Writing North base in Newcastle at the end of last month.
Jennifer, who was on the BA (Hons) English Literature with Creative Writing course at the University, has now been given the opportunity to pitch her book to both agents and publishers, as well as the chance to attend literary events in London.
Speaking about her award, she said: "I started The Second Hand Boy as part of my MA Writing for Children dissertation at UCLan and I'm so thrilled to be on my way to completing it.
“New Writing North have given me a fantastic opportunity and I couldn't be happier to have won a Northern Writers' Award 2018."
It’s not just in the professional world where she has impressed though, as she explains that one of her most satisfying moments was simply winning an award for the quality of her dissertation.
She added: “When I graduated from my MA I won the School of Journalism Media and Performance Outstanding Dissertation Prize and I have now been published in over 100 magazines which is something I’m extremely proud of!
“I went on to work for Immediate Media in London where I wrote for CBeebies, Swashbuckle and Go Jetters magazines for children aged 3-6.
“Following this I moved back up north to become the Editor of Papercraft Essentials, a leading craft magazine, at Practical Publishing. My experience in magazines set me up with the contacts and skills to become freelance and focus on my own writing.”
Looking back on her time at UCLan, she couldn’t speak highly enough of her experience here, and credited the University with getting her to where she is in her career.
She continued: “The tutors and friends I met on my course have been so supportive and caring, always sharing opportunities and offering encouragement. Without these experiences I would never be where I am today.
“My tutors were incredible and pushed me to achieve my potential – as a result my writing flourished and my children’s screenplay won a much coveted internship with the BBC in Salford.
“Applying for UCLan’s MA Writing for Children was the best decision I have ever made. Through the MA I was able to go on valuable work placements to Seven Stories: National Centre for Children’s Books, CBBC and Manchester University Press, I volunteered at the Jacqueline Wilson Festival and was able to complete a novel and find an agent. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without my MA from UCLan!”
24 July 2018