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Young writer’s competition success is big news

Published on 28/11/17

A young author from Jane Austen College celebrated her publishing debut with an exclusive tour of a national newspaper after scooping second place in a prestigious writing competition.

Twelve-year-old Tabitha Dryhurst impressed the judges of The Write Stuff 2017, a competition to find the next generation of female writers, with her short story ‘The Waiting’, which has now been published in an ebook by HarperCollins.

The judging panel included bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford; Eleanor Mills, editorial director of The Sunday Times; and Lynne Drew, publishing director at HarperCollins.

Tabitha enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sunday Times and Times newsroom in London to celebrate the ebook’s publication date on Friday, November 24.

Tabitha’s story is a haunting, lyrical tale about a family waiting for an impending catastrophe to unfold.

It was inspired by a geography lesson about climate change, which led Tabitha to imagine what it would be like to experience the end of the world.

Tabitha said: “It was amazing to win the runner-up prize in the competition, because it marked how far I’ve come as a creative writer.

“At the beginning of Year 7 I didn’t think I was a very good writer, but my English teachers – especially Mrs Jones-Jennings – really helped to build my confidence.

“One of Jane Austen College’s values is ‘Aspiration’ and that has really motivated me to pursue my ambition to be a successful creative writer.”

The college’s academic mentor Stuart Farley said: “Congratulations to Tabitha on her enormous success in the competition.

“It has been fantastic to see her confidence as a writer develop, and we couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Click here for a free download of The Write Stuff ebook, which includes Tabitha’s story.