A YOUNG writer who has been given a top award has vowed to make a career as a wordsmith.
Eloise Unerman (17), of Rowan Close in Goldthorpe, has been handed the Northern Writers — Cuckoo Award 2017 and said it had spurred her on.
The keen member of Rotherham Young Writers, which is run by Hive South Yorkshire, has already had prose and poetry published and hopes her latest success will open up new opportunities.
The A-level student at Thomas Rotherham College is intent on earning a living from her writing and said being a part of the Rotherham group has allowed her to improve her skills and meet inspirational people.
Eloise said: “I have always been a literary sort of person since I was very little.
“Joining Rotherham Young Writers changed my life as a writer. Schools know a lot about English but they don’t know about writing. If I had not gone to the group I would not have considered writing as a career.”
Eloise said the group allows her to meet other writers aged 14 to 25 and do exercises to expand her writing experiences.
She can also go to events like open mic sessions or writers days to meet experienced authors.
Eloise, who also enjoys creating watercolour artworks and performing ballet, started out just writing prose but has developed a fascination with poetry over the years.
She said: “I joined the Rotherham Young Writers group in 2014 and heard poetry read as the writing community reads poetry rather than how teachers read poetry, like a textbook.”
Eloise now has her heart set on writing full-time, even though she knows it might not be the most lucrative option.
She said: “I understand you do need a Plan B. I originally planned to go to university to study genetics but I decided that was not for me. I decided to leave college, get a part-time job and concentrate on my writing.
“To me writing is not something like a release from an awful life or something like that, it’s a beautiful thing. I have discovered that I don’t want to leave it.
“My mum says she is quite proud of me and my Auntie Mandy says she hopes I will remember her when I am rich and famous. I am not in this for the money. This kind of work you cannot be in it for the money.”
The Cuckoo Award has given Eloise a £200 cash prize but more importantly to her has allowed her to make connections with literary figures who may help advance her career.
Writer Vicky Morris, who runs Rotherham Young Writers, said: “We’re delighted that Eloise has won. She’s worked so hard for this and it’s been brilliant seeing her develop her talents over the last few years.
“She really wants a career in poetry so this is the first big step in that direction.”
Rotherham Young Writers are looking for new members. People can get in touch at www.hivesouthyorkshire.com.