A BARROW author is 'over the moon' after he was signed by an esteemed literary agency.

Tom Ashton, 29, has aspired to be an author since he was a young boy and has written a number of short stories and articles.

In June, Mr Ashton saw off dozens of fellow writers to be named the winner of the BLKDOG Publishing Book of the Year contest with his latest novel 'Hostiles'.

He has now been signed by the Liverpool Literary Agency which will allow him to send his books to leading publishers in the UK, most of whom do not accept submissions from authors without agents.

He said: "I have spent six years writing novels, researching agents, and sending thousands of personalised emails in search of representation, receiving rejection after rejection, until Thursday when the Liverpool Literary Agency rang and offered to sign me.

"I really am over the moon, and want to thank all my friends, family, readers, and community for their support over the years."