Marlborough girl makes her mark in writing competition

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Orla Knight Orla Knight

Talented young writer Orla Knight has made it to the semi-finals of a national writing contest after beating stiff competition from 90,000 applicants.

The ten-year-old, who goes to St Francis School in Pewsey, submitted The Chase, which she thinks it is the best story she has ever written.

The competition, called 500 words, is for under 13-year-olds and is run by the Chris Evans breakfast show on BBC Radio 2, and Orla has made it to the final 3,000.

Her story tells the tale of a fox who is taken from its den by a wolf and is trying to get back home.

She said: “My inspiration came from a visit to the woods because I saw two dead foxes and it got me thinking about what it would be like to be a fox.

“I write a lot in my spare time and because we live in the countryside we go to the woods a lot, and I get a lot of my inspiration from there. I was really excited when I found out that I’d got through to the next stage.

“My English teacher was really happy when I told her.

“She said even if I don’t get into the top 50, it’s still a really good achievement.”

Orla, who has an eight-year-old brother called Jack, hopes to be an author when she grows up.

Her mum, Beth, said: “She has always loved writing. I can’t even remember when she learnt to write but before she could, she would tell me stories and I would write them.”

Orla’s story will be sent to the Scottish Book Trust for the second stage of the judging process and by the end of April she will know if it has made it into the Top 50.

If Orla gets gold in her age group, she will get a pile of books for herself and 500 books for St Francis’ library.

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