Talented Cerian from King Edward VI High School for Girls, Edbaston wins ‘Write Stuff’ award

A talented teenager from King Edward VI High School for Girls, Cerian Richmond Jones, 16, has won a prestigious award in “The Write Stuff”, a national short story competition run by the Sunday Times with best-selling author Barbara Taylor Bradford and top journalist Eleanor Mills among the judges.

Cerian from Solihull was one of the two runners-up in the 14-16 section of the award which attracted thousands of entries and the judges praised the way her story “The Setting Dawn” invoked “a mystical, unreal London through her mature and poetic use of language: The Thames begins to flow again, taking time with it.” She and the other main prizewinners will take part in an exclusive writing masterclass run by Barbara Taylor Bradford, enjoy a day out at the News UK headquarters and have their stories published in an e-book by Harper Collins.

“The subject of the competition was friendship” Cerian explained, “and my story was about female friendship, with a girl sitting and watching the sun rise in London every day. I specially wanted to express the idea that not everything always has to be expressed in words.
I’ve always loved writing but I was incredulous when I found out I’d won the prize as I entered at the very last minute, and got my story finished just minutes before the deadline. I’d been toying with the idea for a month and but then wrote and edited it really quickly, thanks to the encouragement of our Vice Principal Ms Pallister who gave me the confidence to submit my story. I’m doing GCSEs next year and afterwards I’d like to do English at A level and maybe become a journalist later.”
Apart from writing, Cerian enjoys drama and is currently devising a piece for performance with other theatre enthusiasts at the Young Rep in Birmingham. She is also very involved in scouting and even travelled to a scout jamboree in Japan.
Cerian is the latest in a string of King Edward’s students to achieve national recognition for creative writing over the past few weeks. 15-year-old Pratiksha Saha’s thought-provoking poem “The Path to Rebellion” was selected as one of the winning entries from over 12,000 submissions in the world-wide Foyle’s poetry competition. Pratiksha herself has been made a member of the Young Poets society and is a leading light of King Edward’s High School’s performance poetry club, run by Old Edwardian poet Jasmine Gardosi of the Birmingham arts collective ‘Beatfreeks’.

Laura Stevens, a Year 8 pupil was delighted when her poem ‘A Powerful Force’ was picked from over 1800 entries as winner of the senior creative writing section of the national NASUWT ‘Arts and Minds’ competition for works celebrating cultural diversity and equality. Meanwhile Maha Salman 13, scooped the prestigious Anne Frank Poetry Award in the same event for her poem ‘Hope’, inspired by Anne Frank’s spirited refusal to be crushed by her confinement in the secret annexe.

“We’re hugely proud of our gifted young writers” said King Edward’s High School Principal, Ann Clark. “It’s been a remarkable term with a string of national awards for their outstanding poetry and stories, which is testimony to their creativity and imagination. It’s also a tribute to our English and RS departments who regularly provide the inspiration together to encourage our talented girls to experiment with their writing and then have the confidence to enter their work for this sort of competition.”


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