Rothesay Teen Taym Saffar Wins National Writing Competition with Futuristic Novel


Fourteen-year-old Taym Saffar from Rothesay has emerged victorious in a national writing competition, securing a grand place for his recent novel in the renowned Kids Write 4 Kids contest. A grade eight pupil at Rothesay Park School while participating in the contest last spring, Saffar’s literary prowess made him one of the two winners selected by the Ripple Foundation.

The Ripple Foundation disclosed that The Eternal Box, penned by Saffar, was chosen along with One in the Wilderness, a story from the mind of Grade 6 student Roy Osborne. This decision was reached after a thorough evaluation of 669 entries received from all over Canada. These submissions were subject to an assessment based on creativity and originality, coupled with writing quality and story structure.

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According to Saffar, the concept for The Eternal Box dawned on him two years ago with the intriguing concept of a box that could stretch time and space to an unprecedented degree. He conceived this box as a realm where one could spend an eternity, with no discernible passage of time for those who venture out.

This ambitious endeavour began to don the garb of a novel last winter, as Saffar started mulling over notions like a world-orbiting research station and the onset of humanity’s venture into colonizing other planets. However, the progression of the narrative was thrown into a different light when the characters stumbled upon a means to achieve ceaseless pleasure and unlimited desires within their minds, making any other action redundant.

Saffar’s narrative is, in part, a reflection of his nuanced perception of society’s handling of technology. He points out how the pace of technological advances has escalated remarkably, with humanity on the verge of making leaps in reality that seem inconceivable.

His book raises fundamental questions about the direction of these technological advances. Expressing concerns about over-reliance on such technology, as he believes it will gradually make humans oblivious to the real world and its inherent importance.

Despite the acclaim, Saffar remains thankful for the award, expressing doubts about his deserving of such honour. However, the verdict from friends and the wider readership has been unanimous. The book is a ‘page-turner’.

Ekiuwa Aire, acclaimed children’s author and contest panelist expressed admiration for the exceptional talent showcased by these young authors. She praised the narratives, replete with creativity and originality, and beautifully depicting various themes like friendship, courage, and the pursuit of destiny.

Saffar’s writing journey began at the tender age of nine when his teacher in Calgary assigned a series of “quick writes”. Driven by an urge to extend the narratives, he began creating his own stories. By twelve, he had completed his first novel, The Lake, an extraordinary tale of a half-human-half-alien protagonist venturing into the heart of the multiverse.

Inspiration comes to Saffar as he navigates everyday life. After fleshing out the characters and plot, he brings these ideas to life on paper, setting daily goals and time management methods to ensure a balance with his schoolwork.

Interest in astronomy, calculus, and chemistry, and a passion for piano grace his academic bow, but writing remains central. His next novel, inspired by a short story from Cixin Liu, is already under works. Additionally, a budding interest in poetry suggests further expansion of his literary skills.

Copies of The Eternal Box will soon be available on various platforms like Amazon, Google Play, Apple iBookstore, and Overdrive. Saffar has shown his generosity by deciding to donate proceeds to the Canadian Cancer Society, indicating a young author with a heart as compassionate as his intellect is profound.