Two A Younger Theatre (AYT) writers have been shortlisted for a prestigious critics award.

Kate Wyver and Fergus Morgan, both regular AYT contributors, have been nominated for The Stage Critic Search 2016 from more than 280 entries.

Announced on 30 June, the judges chose 12 emerging critics from each region across the UK to be placed on a shortlist. The winner will be revealed later this year.

Wyver, 19, who represents the South West category, said: “AYT gave me my first opportunity to try arts journalism. It taught me the basics of the industry and gave me unparalleled chances at meeting people and writing about things that seemed so far out of my reach.

“The encouragement from AYT gave me the confidence to apply for other opportunities, including this award.”

Morgan, 22, who was selected for the East of England, described the award as a “huge confidence booster”: “There are a lot of young, talented writers out there, and sometimes it feels a little dispiriting to know that your voice is just one of many.

“Being shortlisted then, apart from being fantastically exciting, is also something of a validation.”

Each winner is assigned a mentor, with The Guardian’s Lyn Gardner pairing up with Wyver, and Morgan with Henry Hitchings of London Evening Standard.

Each writer will submit a local review that will be published in The Stage. Once the winner is chosen he or she will receive £1,000 and regularly review for The Stage.

The other ten writers on the shortlist are: Janice Dickson, Ian Shine, Sally Jack, Sarah Scott, Steve Timms, Cathy Brown, Edward Clarke and Jaclyn Martin.