Emily Blagrove wins First Story 100 Word Competition

Emily Blagrove wins First Story 100 Word Competition

First Story and Vintage have announced Emily Blagrove from Skinners Academy​ as the winner of the First Story 100 Word Competition 2015.

The competition, open to all First Story students aged 11-18, has been judged by Vintage for two years running. Entries can be prose or poetry and on any theme, so long as they are no longer than 100 words.

The competition received 15 entries from First Story state schools from across the country. Each submitted a shortlist of three entries and a winner was chosen from each, with one overall winner. Blagrove from Skinners Academy in North Hackney won overall, and the runner up is Tala Martelli from Holland Park School.

Each of the winners’ entries will be published on a postcard and Vintage will provide sets of books as prizes for the winning students.

Charlotte Knight, editor at Vintage Classics who judged the prize, said: “The quality of entries this year was impressive. Many entrants used experimental methods to weave their stories, but the best stories balanced originality with a captivating story in miniature. Sometimes the best way to work out what matters to you is to write something. First Story gives young people an opportunity for expression – Vintage Classics is behind them all the way.”

First Story aims to "change lives through writing" by bringing professional writers into secondary schools in low-income communities. It works with teachers and students, as well as engaging with the wider literary community, to foster creativity and communication skills.

Emily Webb, interim executive director at First Story, said: “The pieces showcase an incredible spectrum of writing from the hilarious to the heartbreaking – the students have made the most of the challenging word limit to produce immensely clever, pithy poems and stories. By donating both prizes and their time in judging the competition, Vintage enables First Story as a charity to acknowledge the remarkable talent of these young people and to encourage them to keep reading and writing in the future.”

The winners from each school are: Blagrove, Skinners’ Academy; Sara Chowdhury, Forest Gate Community School; Scarlett Stokes, Pimlico Academy; James Rose, Nottingham Academy Ransom Road; Louis Sayers, Acland Burghley; Lucy Tirahan, Cranford Community College; Gunveen Kaur, Berkeley Primary School; Caitlin Charlesworth, Nottingham University Samworth Academy; Tala Martelli, Holland Park School; Fatema Begum, King Solomon Academy; Archie Elliott, Burlington Danes Academy; Barirah Ashfak, Feversham College; Jessica Krasniqi, Fulham Cross Girls School; Julia Chilmon, Dixons Allerton Academy; Viktoria Vargas, Arts and Media School, Islington; Laura Foster, Abbey Manor College; John Medina, Wembley High Technology College; Matthew Isaac, Farnborough Academy.