THE cultural organisation Northern Roots is launching its first ever creative writing competition.

It has teamed up with Oldham Libraries and local businesses Remedian, Oldham Community Leisure and Ultimate Products to lure writers onto their keyboards.

The Northern Roots Creative Writing Competitio is open to anyone who lives, works or studies in Oldham and is free to enter. There are three categories: Children, young people and adults.

The competition opened on Monday, October 12 and closes on Monday, November 9. Information about how to enter the competition, how to apply and prizes at is available online at

The judging panel features Oldham-based writer Jacqueline Ward, who grew up a stone’s throw from the Northern Roots site, Nawhal Sarwar, a writer and student at Oldham College, and TV and radio presenter Lindsey Chapman.

Jacqueline said: “We often think of stories as something grand, written by professional authors or experienced writers, but anyone can tell stories. I can hardly believe that Northern Roots is going to happen right here in Oldham – it will benefit people in so many ways.”

Nawhal said: “I love reading books and I love writing. Becoming a judge on 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 added: “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.”

Anna da Silva, project director, Northern Roots, said: “Alongside market gardening, mountain biking and educational facilities, Northern Roots will develop a vibrant arts and culture offer. This could involve anything from large-scale theatrical performance to opportunities for local creatives, makers and communities. The Northern Roots Creative Writing Competition is our first offer and it’s specifically for Oldham.”

Northern Roots is currently creating the UK’s largest urban farm and eco park on 160-acres of stunning green space in the heart of Oldham.

Developed for and with local communities, the project will generate jobs, skills and business opportunities for local people, whilst preserving and enhancing the biodiversity and environmental value of the site.