AN East Renfrewshire author who turned over a new leaf by moving from cookbooks to creative writing has won a prestigious award.

Sumayya Usmani scooped the Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award after impressing judges with her flair for words.

Her prize is a £2,000 bursary and nine months of mentoring and online training as she seeks to develop her writing career.

Sumayya lives in Clarkston but originally hails from Karachi, in Pakistan.

After developing a taste for writing cookbooks, she recently turned to narrative writing but still runs Kaleyard – Glasgow’s first non-profit social enterprise cook school.

She practised law in Karachi and London before deciding to turn to writing professionally, hoping her work would touch the hearts of Asian readers but also inspire others through personal and human stories of food, culture and history.

Sumayya has written two cookbooks on Pakistani cuisine – Summers Under the Tamarind Tree, which won the Gourmand Award for best first cookbook, and Mountain Berries and Desert Spice, which was shortlisted for the Food & Travel Awards.

She is currently working on a food memoir, set against the backdrop of political unrest in Pakistan during the 1980s.

Sumayya said she is “honoured" to win the Scottish Book Trust award.

"Winning has not only given me confidence in my writing but also reinforced my belief that it’s never too late to follow your dreams," she added.

"This award will act as a stepping stone to a lifelong career as a narrative writer.”

Previous winners of the Next Chapter Award include Gail Honeyman, the best-selling author of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “The Next Chapter Award supports writers aged over 40 because we recognise that it is never too late to pick up a pen and write that dream novel.

"Congratulations to Sumayya from all of us at Scottish Book Trust.”