Harborough author heads to Hollywood after winning prestigious writing competition

Sam ParrSam Parr
Sam Parr
Sam Parr first began writing ten years ago but due to low confidence he had not shared any of his work

An author from Harborough will be flying to Hollywood after winning one of the most prestigious writing competitions in the world.

Sam Parr first began writing ten years ago and due to low confidence had not shared any of his work.

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But after encouragement from his wife Kat, he entered his 25th short story into the Writers of the Future Contest.

And the 29-year-old from Little Bowden was delighted to discover he won the international contest, which is now in its 39th year and judged by top authors.

His story will also be featured in the L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 39 alongside some 12 other stories and essays by acclaimed authors.

Sam – who works as a career advisor - said: “Winning is hugely inspiring. I started writing ten years ago, but always had crippling low confidence – and so I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words that I’ve never shared with anyone. To win the award has given me the confidence that my words might be worth sharing after all.

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“Beyond that, I have a refuse of novel attempts, which have always stopped when my low confidence outstripped my enthusiasm.”

Sam says the first book he read was The Hobbit and he was inspired by fantasy writers like JRR Tolkien and Ursula Le Guin along with playing computer games.

Winning the competition will see Sam fly to Hollywood to take part in a writing course – a little different to the local coffee shops he usually writes in.

He said: “My story was mostly written in Harborough coffee shops - Milo’s, Blend, Insomnia all contributed caffeine to the cause.

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“The trip sounds like a stupendous experience. The other contest winners and I get flown in for a week-long workshop in Hollywood, where we’re taught about writing by a range of top fantasy and science fiction authors, many of whom have graced my bookshelf since I was a teenager. So, I’m very excited to meet them, and sponge up their wisdom.

“The week then culminates in a black-tie gala event, where I can pretend to be swanky and hob-nob with some big authors and what-not. As the first quarter winner, my story is also in the ring for the ‘Golden Pen’ award, which is the grand prize of the contest each year.”

Sam says he draws on inspiration from his surroundings to inspire his books – but cannot reveal any details about his award-winning story until the grand prize is announced.

He told the Mail: “I’m inspired by so many things – books and birdsong, life’s loves and challenges, and all the beautiful character and colour of the world. Writing, I suppose, is a way of responding to this, and trying to give something back. It’s also a mental workout. Nothing challenges my brain like it.”

Visit www.WritersOfTheFuture.com for more information about the competition.