A Newtown mum who aspires to become a writer has been selected to take part in a project led by Hollywood actor Michael Sheen.

Maya Jordan, from Maesyrhandir, was chosen from 750 applicants for the 'A Writing Chance' project, which aims to find talented writers from under-represented communities and give them a platform in the literary industry.

"It feels unreal," she said. "It's very surreal. I'm absolutely thrilled.

"This is the first time that I have sent my writing to anyone. I wanted to practice receiving rejection letters. I wanted to be really brave and it was quite a nerve-racking thing to do. And then I got shortlisted which was an amazing feeling.

"Michael Sheen has read my writing. I was hysterical for about three weeks."

Maya has been writing a novel set in Newtown about a 50-year-old woman who has forgotten that she is the goddess of the River Severn. The story includes familiar local places such as Evans' Cafe, Garth Owen and Trehafren Fields.

The mum-of-six said: "I wanted to make the character working class and I wanted it to have a real presence in the novel but not in a poverty safari way. I wanted a strong presence of Newtown and to be really grounded in the town.

"Newtown Library is fab. I read endlessly and there are never women like me on the bookshelves or in the pages of books. There aren't working class women and if there are they are victims of crime, benefit scroungers or something to be ashamed of. That's something I've not my experienced being a working class woman or most working class women.

"I wanted to write because I wanted to see women like me, my neighbours and women in my community represented.

"The idea of the story is that we forget who we are and we have all these different roles and stages in our lives. I wanted this novel to explore, as women, who we are and what happens when we remember."

Maya is one of 11 writers who will receive one-to-one mentoring with an established writer or journalist, a £1,500 bursary, insight days with media partners, and publication or broadcast of their work.

Michael Sheen has co-funded the project with the Joseph Roundtree Foundation, an organisation working towards ending poverty in the UK. He described Maya and the 10 successful applicants as "phenomenal".

He said: "Combined with the diversity of their voices and at times revelatory points of view this is a real powerhouse of a group.

"They go way beyond the hopes I had for this project and make me so excited for not only what they themselves will go on to achieve but also the countless other yet to be discovered voices across all our communities.”