03:03PM, Sunday 22 November 2015
A childhood dream of becoming an author could be one step closer to becoming a reality for one teenager from Slough.
Alara Chaudhery who lives in Stanley Green East, has been shortlisted in the 2015 Young Muslim Writers Awards.
The 14-year-old said she would be ‘over the moon’ if she were to win the key stage three short story category with her entry, Falling is Dangerous.
“It was so agonising waiting to find out if I was through,” she said.
“And I was so happy when the news finally came through.”
Alara, who is a year nine student at The Langley Academy, explained how her story is about ‘a family who keeps a lot of secrets’ and the ‘effect these secrets can have’.
“What I love most about writing is that I can write when I get home from school and the fact that I can write about things I make up in my head,” she added.
“I also want to create something that can be enjoyed by other people.”
A panel of judges, which includes Carnegie Medal winner Tim Bowler, helped to asses the 40 entries which were shortlisted.
Alara has not received feedback from the judges but is ready for their comments.
“Obviously it is hard to hear criticism from someone you do not really know and it is always worrying,” she said.
“But I would love to win.”
The fifth annual Young Muslim Writers award ceremony is due to take place in London on December 5.
Award-winning authors Louis de Bernières and Tim Bowler will be presenting trophies to the winners.
The awards were created in 2010 to help raise the standards of child literacy and creative writing. Since then, it has encouraged and nurtured the writing talents of thousands of children through creative writing workshops and the annual competition.
New images have been released showing how Slough High Street could look if the redevelopment of the Queensmere Shopping Centre goes ahead.
Discount supermarket chain Aldi has announced it plans to open eight new stores in Berkshire over the next two years.