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Young author has the write stuff for literary competition

Published on 16/01/17

A young author from Lowestoft has made it to the longlist of a national writing competition.

Abigail Carr, a Year 7 student at East Point Academy, impressed the judges of the First Story National Writing Competition with her short story The Girl And The Footprints.

She is one of just 24 talented students from across the country on the Key Stage 3 longlist, picked by a judging panel from publishers Penguin Random House.

The longlisted stories will now be read by award-winning authors Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time), Juno Dawson (All Of The Above), and Salena Godden (Springfield Road, The Good Immigrant), with a shortlist to be announced in the coming weeks.

All shortlisted writers will be invited to an awards ceremony in London, with prizes for the winners including a creative writing residential course and publication in a professional anthology.

The contest asked secondary school students across the country to write a poem or story on the theme of ‘footprints’, with the top three entries from each school going through to the national stages.

Abigail’s story was chosen as the best among many impressive pieces of writing from East Point Academy’s students, with Amelia Ward and Brandon Lee taking the school’s second and third places.

East Point’s literacy co-ordinator Mary-Jane King said: “I was very impressed with the quality, imagination, and range of stories associated with the theme of 'footprints’.

“Choosing the best ones from so many creative pieces was tough, but Abigail’s moving story stood out.

“Well done to all the entrants, and congratulations and good luck in the national competition to Abigail!”

You can read Abigail, Amelia, and Brandon's winning words below. 

The Girl And The Footprints by Abigail Carr

One foggy day on an island beach stands a girl. No different from any other. This particular girl had blonde hair, a blue top, navy blue jeans and a rose tattoo on her shoulder. She was walking along the beach when suddenly she saw footprints. Footprints. That seemed to come from nowhere, nowhere to be seen anyway. As she walked she started to follow the footprints. As she did she became to realise that she was young again. Three years old and one month to be precise. She was running. But from what? She turned. She seemed to realise that exactly the same footprints were with her. As she took another step she got taken to a different time of her life.

The next part of her life was that she was at a party, her fifth birthday party. She was with her best friend who lives in New Zealand now. They were singing happy birthday to her. How she missed being five. They had now got up from the table and were playing on the adventure playground. She laughed under her breath as she saw one of her old friends tumble down the slide.

She took a third step. This took her to the day her parents split up. This isn’t as happy, she thought. She saw herself breaking down and crying in a heap on the floor. Her parents were saying it was all for the best. Now she understood why this happened. She tried to pull herself away from this topic but she just didn’t have the mental strength to. Finally she did it.

The girl was wondering what would come up next. She took another step. The flashback came quick this time. It was the day she started high school. She went to Riverside-lake Academy. She liked her form tutor Miss Bunting. She can remember how understanding she was about her dyslexia. How she couldn’t read came back to her quickly.

Her fifth step came as a surprise to her. It was the day she started getting bullied. She walked into school with everyone looking at her. She didn’t know what to expect. The girl who she was getting bullied by stood right in front of her and sprayed her right in the stomach with water. This hurt to even think about. She suddenly snapped out of it.

She took another step. This took her to the day she had her tattoo done. Her mum took her in the car. She was shaking. She waked into the parlour and laid in the seat. She chose the rose in memory of her Grandma who died a month before. The rose was her favourite flower. That’s why she chose it. The lady leaned forward to start the process. It didn’t really hurt too much. She tried to snap out of this one as quick as she could.

Finally she came to her last footprint. This one was the future. The rest of that day was straight ahead of her. Does she go, or does she stay. In your imagination there are no limits. But one thing for sure is that you will always have someone to support you through every footstep you take. It’s all up to you…


Footprints by Amelia Ward

All on the beach
in the sand
footprints lay
bold and grand

Some are big
some are small
some you can barely
see at all

There are wide ones,
thin ones, short and long
It makes me wonder
to whom they belong

Some are patterned
some are plain
All stand out
amongst the grain

As I walk on
towards the sea
I know these prints
belong to me

As I turn around
and look to the floor
the footprints
I can see no more

The wind came in
and blew them away
Maybe they'll return
another day!


The Missing Monarchy by Brandon Lee

At 12.46pm yesterday, a historical museum was robbed by an unidentified man that we have no evidence about except for one thing: footprints.

Today I am searching for more information involving the crime (blood, marks, fingerprints, DNA, eye witnesses, etc). 

I have located the footprints by using an ultraviolet scanner and they lead to artifacts of the kings and queens. 

The only option I had was to follow the footprints. The footprints stopped in a dark corner which is surprisingly the only part of the museum left in perfect condition; the area with wax models and paintings of Richard III. Even though the artifacts were hundreds of years old, they all looked brand new. 

As I was admiring the only remaining exhibit in the museum, I saw a painting drop from the wall to reveal these words:


I stood there in confusion and waited to see what would happen to me, but that was my mistake...