Northern Roots Creative Writing Competition
– Our Judges

The Northern Roots Creative Writing Competition judging panel included Oldham-based author Jacqueline Ward, who grew up a stone’s throw from the Northern Roots site and believes that anyone can tell stories – it’s what we do every day.

She was joined by Nawhal Sarwar, a writer and student at Oldham College, who wants to encourage children to discover the joy of reading, and TV and radio presenter Lindsey Chapman. Presenting on everything from climate change to the power of poetry, Lindsey grew up in rural Yorkshire and is passionate about the arts and the natural world.

The panel was supported by the team at Oldham Libraries.


Jacqueline Ward

Jacqueline Ward is a writer from Oldham. She is a Chartered Psychologist and Scientist and her debut psychological thriller, PERFECT TEN, was published by Corvus Atlantic Books in 2019. HOW TO PLAY DEAD was published in November 2019. Jacqueline is the author of the DS Jan Pearce crime fiction series and enjoys writing short stories and screenplays. She holds a PhD in narrative and storytelling and received an MBE for services to vulnerable people in 2013.

‘We often think of stories as something grand, written by professional authors or experienced writers, but anyone can tell stories. We tell each other stories in everyday life – stories about what we do, who we know and where we go. For the Northern Roots Creative Writing competition we want you to write that story down’.

Nawhal Sarwar

Nawhal Sarwar is studying Business Enterprise at Oldham College and working on a business idea for the future, which is to convince children to read books so they can experience how much fun it is.

‘I love reading books and I love writing. I entered a ‘500-word’ competition and won – now my story is in a book called ‘The Twist of the Tale’. I also write my own books in an app called ‘Wattpad’ which allows you to read/write books and show it to millions of people. Becoming a judge at the Northern Roots Creative Writing Competition is a great opportunity for me to read the different kinds of story that people will write – it’s so exciting!’

Lindsey Chapman

Lindsey Chapman is a TV and radio presenter on BBC One, BBC Two, Channel 5 and Radio 4. Passionate about people, arts and the natural world, she’s tackled complex subjects from climate change to the power of poetry. Brought up in rural East Yorkshire, Lindsey grew up with a deep appreciation of nature and green space.

‘There are so many crossovers between art and the natural world. Wildlife and wild places are a constant source of inspiration and art allows us to connect with nature in unexpected ways. The Northern Roots Creative Writing competition is a brilliant opportunity to express your creativity. I can’t wait to see what different ideas are submitted.’