Elena Barham wins the BBC Young Writers’ Award 2022

A huge congratulations to Barnsley Young Writers alumnus Elena Barham who has won the BBC Young Writers’ Award 2022 at the age of 19. Her winning story, ‘Little Acorns’, set in the 1940s, explores gender, familial relationships, loss and abuse.

Katie Thistleton, chair of judges for BBC Young Writers’ Award, said: “Little Acorns is an incredibly accomplished piece of writing – it’s full of vivid characters, subtlety and intrigue, and it squeezes so much story into so few words.”

Congrats to all five shortlisted young writers (listed below) You can listen to Elena’s winning story (narrated by Sophie McShera from Downton Abbey) and all of the shortlisted here.

  • ‘Dandelions’ by Nabiha Ali, 16, from Lancashire
  • ‘Little Acorns’ by Elena Barham, 19, from Barnsley
  • ‘Bite’ by Emily Betts, 17, from Northamptonshire
  • ‘Peach’ by Eshana Dasanjh, 18, from Leeds
  • ‘The Poltergeist’ by Dora Fidler, 17, from Barnet

The BBC has been organising the Young Writers’ Award with the University of Cambridge for eight years. The challenge encourages young people in the UK aged between 14-18 years to submit stories of up to 1,000 words.