Writers from the North East were among 19 to benefit from this year’s Northern Writers’ Awards, worth a total of £40,000.
Chloe Daykin, from Hexham, and Naomi Lever, from Newcastle, were winners in the fiction category.
Highly commended in the category for young writers were Daniella Watson, from Gateshead, Jake Raffle, from Stanley, and Bronwen Fraser, from Hexham.
The first Cuckoo Young Writers’ Prize for writers aged 15-18 went to Jasmine Simms, from Halifax.
The Mathew Hale Award went to 14-year-old Justine Mewton, from Newcastle, who was nominated by Rachel Gaffney, her teacher at Heaton Manor School.
The awards, designed to benefit writers of promise, were presented at Northumbria University which has confirmed it will continue to sponsor the awards.
The Northern Writers’ Awards were set up in 2000 and are managed by Newcastle-based New Writing North whose remit now includes the whole of the north of England.
Lucy Winskell, pro vice chancellor at Northumbria, said the partnership with New Writing North demonstrated “our shared commitment to celebrating and nurturing creative talent in the region”.
Journalist and novelist Elizabeth Day, one of the judges, said of the young writers: “What hope it gives me for the future! I basically forgot I was reading the work of teenagers – their writing was so fluent, so well-crafted and so engrossing that it was incredibly hard to choose between them.”
The winner of the annual Andrea Badenoch Prize for women writers over the age of 42 – when the late Newcastle writer had her first novel published – went to Deborah Finn, from Lancaster.