Lockdown boredom spells success for young writer

A RIPON Grammar school student who discovered his talent for writing when he was bored is now set to become a published author.

Arnav Kasireddy is to have two of the short stories he wrote during lockdown published in anthologies featuring the work of young writers from all over the UK after entering a national competition.

The 12-year-old’s 100-word mini thriller Bio War was selected from more than 6,000 entries for the book SOS Sagas – Missing – Tales from the UK.

His mini mystery The Desmonds’ Monstrosity, picked from more than 1,000 entries, will appear in Spine Chillers 2020 – Creepy Tales.

Arnav, who hopes to become a neurologist and whose favourite subjects are maths, the sciences and PE, reveals that he first began writing fiction when he was bored last year: “Then I started to like it.”

He wrote his latest short stories for the creative writing competition for 11-18-year-olds during lockdown: “I was just writing because I was bored, and I didn’t expect both my stories would get through. I was really happy when I found out I’d been published.”

Budding wordsmiths were encouraged to submit mini sagas packed full of tension, atmosphere and suspense for the Young Writers challenge.

Arnav looked to other books as well as his own imagination for ideas. His favourite authors are Anthony Horowitz, Liz Pichon and Jeff Kinney, who particularly inspires him: “He’s funny and has great ideas.”

His story Bio Wars is about the search for the genetic information behind viruses which have been launched on the world by terrorists. The Desmonds’ Monstrosity is about a haunted house.

Young Writers has been running competitions to promote poetry and creative writing across the UK since 1991: “Work is selected for publication based on perception, imagination, expression, creativity and use of language,” said a spokesperson.

The top prize winner and four runners up from all those selected will be announced in the autumn. Read Arnav's stories below:

Bio war

The hard drive wasn't in the safe. The lab had been broken into in the night. If Dr Roosevelt didn’t find it, the world would be at risk. The hard drive contained the genetical information from the bio wars happening recently. More that 1 million people died from them and it shook the world's economy. He had found out that terrorists made these viruses, and no one knew. But Roosevelt had a trick up his sleeve, a solar powered tracker was on the drive. He told the police the location and in 3 days, he had received the hard drive.

The Desmonds’ Monstrosity

Our car broke down, so we were looking for shelter until the mechanic came.

Then we saw a spec of moonlight casting a ghoulish glow on a house, we knocked the door and heard a shout, “Come in”. We were about to tell them what happened, when we were interrupted.The mechanic rang and said the car had been fixed so we told him we were at the Desmonds’ house nearby.

That’s when the mechanic’s jaw dropped, he grew up listening about the Desmonds as the estate was set on fire in 1953. Apparently, The Desmonds still haunt the house...