A writer from Seven Kings is among the winners of the London Writers Awards, which highlights under-represented voices in publishing.
Sukh Brar, 35, was listed among the 30 writers who have been selected from more than 250 submissions by Spread the Word, a write development agency.
The list represents London-based writers of colour, working class, LGBTQIA+ and disabled writers who will be supported and nurtured through a 10-month development programme in preparation for meeting with agents and publishers and pursuing their writing careers.
Sukh’s day job as a chemical engineer is a far cry from his passion as a writer, which he has been working on for the past four years.
Since then he has racked up a number of prizes including being a finalist in the Guardian 4th Estate Short Story Prize, Aesthetica Creative Writing Award and the Mo Siewcharran First Novel Prize as well as receiving a grant from Arts Council England.
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He told the Recorder: “Receiving a London Writers Award is a boost to my confidence as a writer.
“The awards, with its intensive programme of masterclasses, one-to-one coaching and networking opportunities, will mean I’ll be able to lift my writing to the next level.”
Though his work as a contract engineer might be dry for most people’s tastes it doesn’t play a part in his writing, which is literary fiction that is very political and darkly comical.
He got into writing after taking a sabbatical from his job as a risk and safety engineer for an oil and gas consultancy and now works part-time so he could devote a good chunk of his time to writing his novel.
With the help of the writers award he is hoping his novel will be in bookshelves next year.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and feedback from previous awardees, the third year of the programme will also include a series of workshops on mental health and self-care led by a clinical psychologist.
The 10-month programme will begin on Saturday, January 23 and the award recipients will attend fortnightly critical feedback groups and participate in nine masterclasses led by writers and industry professionals.
To find out more about the London writers award visit http://bit.ly/LondonWritersAwards.