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Cheshire Prize for Literature 'inspired young writer'

30th September 2009

A young author has explained how winning a regional literary prize for a short story inspired him to tackle a full-length novel.

David Whitley told the Leader that scooping the Cheshire Prize for Literature for a children's short story four years ago gave him the confidence to begin writing his debut work The Midnight Charter.

The novel is set in the fictional city of Agora, where money does not exist, and is currently sitting in fifth place on the US Independent Booksellers' autumn season recommended list.

Whitley also told the newspaper that the book was not influenced by the ongoing economic downturn, as he wrote it before the financial collapse and the ensuing global recession.

'I wrote it in 2007 before the problems but the main reason I wrote about an age with no money was because I didn't want to take it down the simple route of "money is evil",' the 24-year-old explained.

Earlier this week, the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2009 longlist was announced, featuring nominations for Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book and Auslander by Paul Dowswell.

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