Hook student wins writing contest

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Hook’s Phoebe Harris has been named the Southeast winner of Pearson’s My Twist on a Tale: Our Tomorrow writing contest

Submitted by Consilium Communications

A pupil from Hook, Hampshire, has been named the South East winner of a national writing competition.

Phoebe Harris, 14, wrote a poem in 2051 on the theme of threats against girls, with the poem being published in a new book as part of Pearson’s My Twist on a Tale: Our Tomorrow writing competition.

Over 1,200 school, sixth form and university students took part in the competition and 17 winning entries were selected across all categories including KS1 to KS5 and all regions of the UK.

Phoebe, who attends Lord Wandsworth College in Long Sutton, said: “I was delighted to be selected as the winner. Speaking out and ending violence against women has been something I have been passionate about for a very long time.

“I believe more people should be aware and denormalized. My character doesn’t question such attitudes, and it portrays society’s indifference.

“I chose poetry because poems are often short and jerky, and someone’s life can change drastically in an instant if they experience such abuse. Poetry seemed the best way to convey that.”

In Phoebe’s poem, a young girl and her mother discuss the need for her to tie up her hair.

Not one to ask why, or why she should never walk alone at night, or why there’s a stash of passports in various cupboards around the house, the girl braids her hair and goes for a run.

Finding herself alone in an unknown location, she is accosted by a knife-wielding man with a sinister smile.

Running as fast as she can, the young girl escapes his grasp as her pigtails slip out of her hands.

Deborah Maclaren, director of Love Reading, said: “Phoebe’s poem is a cleverly constructed piece in which she builds conflict, and the tension builds as the story progresses. Its simplicity is wonderful and I I was hooked from the start.

“History serves as a warning, an allegory of what will happen in the future unless we change things; unless we twist history. Brilliant.”

Lindsay Nadin, Head of Primary at Pearson, said: “Phoebe should be extremely proud of the poem she wrote. Her creativity and writing skills make her a worthy winner, alongside the 16 other young authors whose stories and poems ranged from earthlings riding hoverboards, to the need for new laws to keep people safe.

“At Pearson, we are committed to empowering schools to give their students different opportunities to excel and develop the critical skills needed for their future.

“My Twist on a Tale allows us to encourage and excite young children with writing, motivating them to create work that represents their own perspectives of the world we live in, and to find joy in the written word. Everyone who submitted a story should be very proud of their creation.”

Phoebe’s work was chosen from among 16 other fantastic stories and poems written by children across the country, including A Mother’s Plea by South West winner Sophia Papasouliotis, Into the Blue by Key Stage 2 winner Veer Khanna and New Atlantis from Northern Ireland winner Emma-Louise Blanche.


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