Newham crime fiction author offers budding writers the chance to shine in literary competition
PUBLISHED: 16:43 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:07 16 March 2017
A best-selling author who took 23 years to find success hopes to find Newham's next big literary talent through a writing competition.
Canning Town resident Vaseem Khan, who landed a four-book contract with publisher Hodder & Stoughton in 2015, has teamed up with fellow authors Barbara Nadel – also from Newham – and Abir Mukherjee for the amazing opportunity.
Together they will judge the Adult fiction and Young adult/Children’s fiction categories in the competition open to all residents of Newham.
The 43-year-old author of The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra said he was looking for stories which “really grab you and where there is an emotional connection”.
He said: “What we are really looking for is an fantastic opening in the first two or three pages. Beyond that – is there a coherent story?”
Applicants have until March 31 to apply with either a short story or the first chapter in a novel. The maximum maximum word limit is 3,000 words.
Former management consultant Vaseem, who currently runs a book club at Manor Park Library, has said that if a particular piece of writing is excellent then his agent has even agreed to read it.
“It is an opportunity,” he said, adding: “What if there is a really brilliant author in the borough and we haven’t discovered them?”
Vaseem freely admits his own path to literary success involved years of rejection by agents and publishers.
After spending 10 years in India, he finally achieved success with his debut novel about a retired police inspector whose search for answers about a drowned boy in Mumbai leads to an unexpected relationship with a baby elephant.
Vaseem told the Recorder that he had spent many years writing about what he thought publishers wanted to hear without joy.
“But the one that got published was my own amazing memories of India,” he said.
“I wrote it entirely for myself and that is the best advice that I can give anyone.
The competition has been commissioned in conjunction with Newham Council and Manor Park Library. Its full terms and conditions can be found by visiting vaseemkhan.com