Meet our Award Winners 2016!

Cuckoo is proud to announce our Award Winners 2016!

Awarded as part of New Writing North‘s prestigious Northern Writers’ Awards, every year we search for the most promising young writers in the North of England and recognise their brilliance by giving them stuff. Last night, the 2016 ceremony took place and so finally we can tell you who those winners are!

A huge well done to them all!

Cuckoo Award Winner 2016

Kate Collins, aged 18 from the Wirral, was the winner of the Cukoo Young Writers Award 2016 for her short story, Best Served Cold. Judge, acclaimed YA author Louise O’Neill, commented that Kate’s writing is “something really special”.

Kate is already something of a writing superstar and writes plays and short films, as well as fiction. She recently wrote and performed SKIN, which was produced as part of Channel 4’s Random Acts programme.

Kate says “I’m really chuffed to have won the award. It means I can string a sentence together, and it seems the sentences I’m stringing aren’t half bad. It’s good to know that I’m being taken seriously as a writer (which, when you’re 18 is a pretty big thing)”

Cuckoo Award 2016: Highly Commended

Because the quality of entries was so high this year, judge Louise O’Neill couldn’t just stop at choosing one winner, so this year we have two young writers who were highly commended too!

Jen Szandrowska, 17, is a member of our Cuckoo Young Writers group in Sunderland and started writing when she was 14. She mainly writes poetry and short stories. She is currently an A-level student,hoping to study English Literature and Classics at university.

Cuckoo Award 2016: Highly Commended

Our second highly commended young writer is Isabella Sharp, who is 17 and from York. She aspires to be a novelist and screenwriter.

Isabella says “This award means a lot to me as it’s so great for teenagers. Everyone has been hugely friendly and helpful in the process”.

Matthew Hale Award 2016

This year we took the unusual step of awarding the Matthew Hale Award to two young writers, Amy Langdown and Shana Nichols, simply because we couldn’t possibly choose between them!

Amy and Shana attend the Cuckoo Young Writers group in Cramlington and have proved themselves not only to be promising writers, but also to be fantastic group members with tons of motivation and enthusiasim for all sorts of cultural experiences.

The Matthew Hale Award is a very special award, given to young people with loads of talent but who might lack the opportunity to fulfil that promise. The award will give Amy and Shana the chance to travel to Edinburgh and London and to indulge in their huge passion for musicals!

Conor Robinson Award 2016

Catherine Maw is the winner of the Conor Robinson Award, which is awarded to a young writer who has participated in one of our Cuckoo programmes and shows outstanding promise.

Catherine took part in both our Bishop Auckland and Sunderland Cuckoo Young [Song] Writers groups and has shown real talent for songwriting. She is a young writers who truly “found her voice” (literally and metaphorically!) and overcame her lack of confidence to perform and record her work.

You can hear some of Catherine’s work here: