A Blackburn writer has been announced as the winner of popstar Stormzy's Merky Books New Writers' Prize.

Sufiyaan Salam’s ‘Wimmy Road Boyz’ is set over the course of a single night, and follows three men in their early twenties who drive up and down Manchester’s Curry Mile (Wilmslow Road), bringing all of their baggage with them.

In pursuit of a wild time, they don’t yet know that their first night out in so long will also be their last.

The 26-year-old's debut novel explores ‘heartbreak, masculinity, friendship, faith and class’.

Chart-topping musician Stormzy set up the #Merky Books prize to discover unpublished and under-represented writers aged 16 to 30 from the UK and Ireland.

The winner lands a publishing contract with Stormzy’s publishing imprint Merky Books at Penguin Random House UK.

Sufiyaan received the New Writers' Prize set up by the rapper at a special awards ceremony held at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road in London on Saturday.

Sufiyaan attended Cedar Street Primary School and Hawthorns Junior School, Pleckgate High School, and went on to study at Cardinal Newman College. He later graduated in English Literature from the University of Manchester.

Sufiyaan’s father is NHS worker and Urdu TV journalist Shakil Salam who reports on a host of community events across Lancashire.

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Sufiyaan said: “It’s still sinking in, but wow I’m beyond excited to be given the opportunity to have my work published with Penguin.

"Having met the talented writers on the shortlist, I know just how fierce the competition was. 

“I’ve been trying to write for as long as I can remember and I’m committed to making work that’s interesting, has something to say and is even better fun. 

“Growing up in Blackburn, it was easy to think this kind of thing wouldn’t happen for someone like me. Shout out to the whole Merky team, all the judges, and the ‘writer’s camp’ group chat!”

Stormzy said: "I was excited to announce Sufiyaan as this year’s winner of the prize.

"I loved Wimmy Road Boyz and I can’t wait to read more.”