Child prodigy: Manchester youngster runner-up in National Writers’ Award

A Manchester 10-year-old saw off competition from over 14,000 children to be runner-up in the National Young Writers’ Award.

Donald Ijeomah wowed best-selling author and judge Jonathan Meres with A Peculiar Bank Holiday Outing to secure second place in the award, organised by tuition provider Explore Learning.

This year’s competition received more entries than ever before, a reassuring sign that story writing still has its place in a new technological age.

Rita Ijeomah, Donald’s Mother said: “We are very proud of Donald, he was inspired by the beautiful scenery of Buxton Park that he visited.

“The hardest part of writing the story for Donald was having to condense his story down to the 500 limit – it took him 2 days to do so.

“The story was very much Donald’s own work and the only help he had were two spelling corrections.”

Donald attends the Explore Learning branch in Heaton Park twice a week, one of 115 such centres across the country with over 28,000 attendees.

Judge Jonathan Meres said: “The standard of stories has been exceptionally good, which on the one hand made exceptional reading for me but on the other hand has made the task of choosing just one overall winner impossible.”

Carey Ann Dodah Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning said: “We’re thrilled to see so many children enter this year.

“Yet again we have been blown away with the amazingly creative, funny and astonishing stories.”

This year’s theme was Strange Events and Peculiar Happenings.

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