An Etal cook who decided to turn her hand to writing has won a national award.
Claire Joicey won the 18 to 25 age group category at the seventh annual Wicked Young Writer Awards.
The Attic, her winning entry, was described by the judges as a haunting and atmospheric story told in richly descriptive prose, painting a portrait of sorrow and buried grief.
“My winning feels kind of illegal amongst all this talent,” said a delighted Claire.
“I sobbed at some of the stories written by the younger children, they were so beautiful.
“I’ve been writing a long time, but it’s always been my own thing. I didn’t tell anyone or share any of my stories until I was short-listed for last year’s Wicked Young Writer Awards.
“It’s quite personal and frightening to have someone read something you’re written.
“Winning a national competition like Wicked Young Writer gives you the confidence to know that other people like what you write. That’s a really good feeling.”
Claire was among 115 short-listed finalists gathered at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre for the awards ceremony, hosted by TV and radio presenter Gaby Roslin.
She had two other entries short-listed – The Prisons in the same category and Just Listen in the For Good section.
Earlier this year, Claire raised more than £3,300 for Beat, the eating disorder charity, and the RSPCA with a walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats.