Corporation Road Community Primary School pupil, Annabelle Foulds aged 10, has been named the winner of a competition designed to test the creative writing skills of Teesside pupils.

Author and academic Gabrielle Kent visited eight schools across Teesside to deliver creative writing workshops and encourage schoolchildren to write their own stories for a chance to win a signed copy of her book and £100 worth of book vouchers, before announcing the winner at Corporation Road Community Primary School, part of Lingfield Education Trust, in a whole school assembly.

Annabelle, the lucky winner, said: “I can’t believe I have won and I am so excited. When I saw Gabrielle walk into our assembly I did not expect to have won at all because my story is so serious.”

The winning piece ‘I didn’t want to’ is written in the first person and portrays the struggle of a mystery character before revealing the identity of the narrator is, in fact, cancer.

“When I was younger I remember my dad writing a story about a sword, as if it was from the sword’s perspective, and I wanted to try it for myself. The reason I chose to write about cancer is because my favourite teacher, Miss Joanna Henderson, sadly died of the disease and I know it is something that a lot of people have been affected by. I wanted to write a serious, grown up story so that more people could relate to it.

“I already have a list of books that I want to spend my voucher on and I would love to become an author myself one day.”

Gabrielle Kent, author and senior lecturer in computer games development at Teesside University’s School of Computing, commented: “We had some brilliant entries from all eight schools, however Annabelle’s story truly stood out as the overall winner because it was so different from our other entries.

“The impact the piece had on all four judges was phenomenal and we almost could not believe that such a young child had created something so powerful. I am certain that if Annabelle continues developing her skills, she could become a successful author in the future.

“It was a pleasure to work with Corporation Road Community Primary School, and the other schools across Teesside. I often feel that school curriculums can be quite restrictive and only allow the children to focus on technical skills, however during my visits to the schools I was so impressed with the attitude of both staff and pupils, and their freedom to be creative.”

To find out more about Gabrielle Kent and her ‘Alfie Bloom’ book series, visit www.gabriellekent.com

For more information on Lingfield Education Trust, visit www.lingfieldeducationtrust.com

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