New Writers Awards 2012/13: John Young
Children's and Young Adult
John was born in Belfast on 4th November 1964. He has had a varied career in law from graduation at University of Southampton, to the City of London, Belfast and Edinburgh where he received a PhD 2008 on the ethics of Patenting Human Embryonic Stem Cells. John’s current projects, outwith writing, include planning a distillery and researching water sources for international development through a project called Waterfarm.
John is married to Laura and they had three children Nina, Verity and Isla. Verity died in 2009 and since then John has found solace in writing and cycling. There are few things, he feels, that can’t be worked out with an hour or two in the saddle or a cold swim in the sea, which is why his hobbies are focused on endurance sports.
John helped his wife establish and now manage a childrens charity called The Teapot Trust which provides art therapy to children in hospital who are suffering from Lupus and related conditions.
The following is an extract from a short true story called ‘Truth’ and was John’s first piece of creative writing. It is included here because the story is important to him. It is sad story told from the heart. He hopes it will be the last sad story he ever has to write.
Extract from ‘Truth'
Dad drove me home in silence. He helped me into the house and onto my spot in the sofa, then turned on the fire and television. They didn’t give me what I came for even though I felt worse than yesterday. I don’t know why it wasn’t brought.
Dad sat with me and we watched Tracy Beaker. He usually laughs with me at Beaker, today he just sat and stared. Mum went to the shops for eggs to make Yorkshire Puddings for me. My taste buds go funny, Yorkshire Puddings are the only things I will eat this week. Last week it was chicken legs. I asked Dad for something to drink and he left the room, returning with a pot of tea and old fashioned china cups and saucers. I love tea in a tea pot, I can pour it just the way I like.
Dad tried and failed to say something. I didn’t ask him what he was going to say. Instead he sat beside me and tickled my shoulder and I cuddled my Doggy. I don’t know what they were supposed to tell me, perhaps they thought I could understand things without being told, maybe they thought it was better if I didn’t know. I never asked and they never said, but I know all right, just like I knew when they thought I was going to be OK....’
'The moon is under my feet at receiving the New Writers Award. A vital, yet elusive, ingredient in being a new writer is obtaining advice from within publishing so I am thrilled to have the opportunity and privilege to speak to writers and publishers. Although the award is a great confidence boost, I am humbled that faith has been placed in me. Thank you so much.'