Stefan won the award for his novel Bitter Sixteen, which he first drafted at the age of sixteen. Stefan is a writer, poet and musician from Powys, Mid Wales. He has recently graduated from Kingston University with a First Class degree in Creative Writing. The novel stars Stanley Bird, a solitary, eccentric teenager, lives in a quiet town in Wales where nothing ever happens. On his sixteenth birthday, Stanley is gifted with superpowers and he decides to become a superhero.
At the award night dinner Stefan said: ‘It is a huge honour to receive the Sony Reader award. This is the kind of rare opportunity that few new writers get. It’s something I’ve been working towards since I was a child – the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do is to be a writer – and winning the Sony Reader Award will provide the perfect boost I need to really kick-start my writing career.’
The Sony Reader Award is a new category of the Dylan Thomas Prize, which has been created specifically to support unpublishedBritish novel writers under the age of 30 using electronic book formats for the entire process, from submission of the entries through to judging and then publication. The award was judged by a panel that included ex-Catatonia front woman Cerys Matthews who said of the new literary award: ‘Bitter Sixteen was the freshest of the shortlisted novels. I raced through it like I was reading a comic book.’ Keep an eye out for the other two shortlisted new literary talents, Claire McGowan (28, Kent) and Benjamin Wood (29, London).