A junior at Bangor High School has recently become the first teenager ever to be awarded a Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance award in a competition field open to all ages.

Muhammad Drammeh’s short story was awarded top honors in the CrimeFlash Fiction competition recently held by the MWPA, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The CrimeFlash competition received more than 50 entries of short stories under 500 words written in the crime genre. The stories had to be based on the prompt sentence, which read “Being buried alive was the most terrifying thing I could imagine, until today.” Many of the entries were submitted by published authors and lifetime writers, according to the Portland newspaper.

Drammeh said that he hadn’t expected his short story “Doghouse” to be chosen as the winner. He had simply sent in the story hoping for feedback from other writers, as he aspires to become a published author in the future.

All of the entries were judged blind, according to the Press Herald, and the judges had no idea when they picked Drammeh’s story that the author is only 17 years old. But his writing displayed talent “way beyond his years,” according to Maine-based novelist Bruce Coffin, who served as a judge.

Drammeh also participates in Bangor High School’s STEM academy, robotics club and, of course, the creative writing club.

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.