SHE beat hundreds of other talented writers from across the country and now Charlotte Avery has been crowned champion of a prestigious national writing competition.
The 13-year-old won first prize in the 2015 Henrietta Branford Writing Competition.
I was completely shocked when I first found out. I was really excitedCharlotte Avery
She was invited up to London to attend the Branford Boase Award celebration party and was awarded her prize by Tracy Beaker author and former Children’s Laureate Dame Jacqueline Wilson.
Charlotte, from Winifred Road in Waterlooville, said: ‘I was completely shocked when I first found out. I was really excited.’
The writers were given a 100 word piece to start the story off with and they were then given the task of writing the remaining 1,400 words.
The story was based on a child who found all her family, friends and neighbours had disappeared and the writers had to continue the story and explain what had happened.
Charlotte added: ‘I enjoyed writing the story because I had come up with some ideas before and I enjoyed seeing where I was going to take it and how I would develop it.
‘I like that writing is free and with writing stories you make up an idea and you can take it where ever you want to.
‘This means a lot to me because it’s recognising that I put in a lot of effort and I was really happy when I won it. I didn’t expect it at all.’
Mum Michelle, 46, said: ‘We were absolutely thrilled for her. She has been working hard this year.
‘She had lots of ideas and she worked hard on it. She enjoys writing.
‘She loves dance and drama as well and is very active so for her this is a let out for her imagination.’
Charlotte received a copy of each of the books shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and was able to have her books signed by their authors.
The Branford Boase Award recognises a debut children’s author and their editor and was set up in memory of the outstanding children’s writer Henrietta Branford and the gifted editor, Wendy Boase, Editorial Director of Walker Books. They both died of cancer in 1999.
The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition aims to find and encourage writers of the future, something Henrietta Branford was always keen to do.