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Art & Design Student Wins ‘Big Writing Challenge’

On 28 June, West London College Art and Design Level 3 student Elyana Guler was named the overall winner of London Metropolitan University’s ‘Big Writing Challenge’ at the prestigious offices of Orion Publishing. Elyana’s short story was selected as the overall winner by the publishing director at Orion, Emad Akhtar.

Elyana with her visual work at the college's art exhibition
Elyana with her visual work at the college’s art exhibition

Elyana describes her story ’The Grimm’,  as “a supernatural thriller” and as part of her prize for winning, the story will soon be published on the Orion website for us all to read.

Amy Collins, Senior Outreach Officer at London Metropolitan University said: “The judges were really impressed with the maturity of Elyana’s writing and the way in which she painted a really clear picture right from the start which just grew and grew. We found her writing intriguing right from the start and loved the way the mystery unfolded. She was also a pleasure to have on the project, and really got stuck into all of the activities and discussions.”

Elyana’s journey to her winning entry began when careers advisor, Jemima Wiredu, circulated details about the competition in February. A meeting in March with the Big Writing Challenge team followed.  Elyana attended a writing bootcamp in April, hosted by the London Met Creative Writing Department. In early June, Elyana’s story was submitted and just a few weeks later, she was announced the winner.

Jemima said: “Well done Elyana! You were very enthusiastic and showed a lot of interest in the Big Writing Challenge from the onset. I keenly followed your determination and excitement about your writing, and I’m not at all surprised that you emerged as the winner! I wish you more success in your studies and future endeavours!”

Elyana Guler with Amad Akhtar, Orion Publishing Director
Elyana Guler with Amad Akhtar, Orion Publishing Director

As part of her prize. Elyana was presented with a framed first page of her story and many books to enjoy.

Elyana says: “I was thrilled to win the competition it is a huge thing for me to have done.” Asked if she sees herself as a writer or an artist, she replied “I see myself as both!”

Elyana plans to go to university to study art when she finishes her Art and Design Level 3 course.

Gareth McLennan, Head of Curriculum – IT, Digital and Creative, said: “Winning the Big Writing Challenge is an enormous achievement for Elyana, and we’re all very proud of her. Her win also benefits other students too, as it gives them more confidence to take part in competitions.”

Elyana’s short story is available to read online on the Orion Books website.

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