A 14-year-old has won first place in a national writing competition after being selected out of hundreds of young writers.

Eleanor Hetherington, of Wimbledon High School for Girls, has won the 2020 Henrietta Branford Writing Competition with her coronavirus inspired short story called 'The Fear'.

Henrietta Branford Writing Competition is an annual competition for young people which runs in conjunction with the prestigious Branford Boase Award.

The Branford Boase Award recognises a debut children’s author and their editor.

It was set up in memory of children’s writer, Henrietta Branford and Editorial Director of Walker Books, Wendy Boase, whom both died from cancer in 1999.

The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition aims to find and encourage writers of the future, something Henrietta Branford was always keen to do.

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This year, the competition saw a record number of entries which judges believed to be a result of lockdown, sparking waves of creativity.

Eleanor was applauded for her efforts of picturing what life could be like after the pandemic.

'The fear' explores different avenues such as, 'a new normal' which sees people across the country adapt to having to stay inside.

The story looks into the changes in communication, with people becoming used to their own company, no longer reaching out to loved ones and friends.

Eleanor's story demonstrated strong creativity looking into new laws and rules in place to regulate the new normal.

Prue Goodwin, a lecturer in literacy and children’s books, judged the entries and said: “Short stories are hard to write, however, experienced you are.

"So much is about the getting of ideas and expressing them in ways that keep the reader wanting to read.

"Above all, we look for stories that show imagination, originality and a strong voice.

"Eleanor’s story really stood out.”

Eleanor Hetherington said: "It feels amazing to be one of the winners of the Henrietta Branford Writing Competition.

"I never expected to win and all of the other winning stories were excellent!

"My story was inspired by the thought of lockdown and what might happen in the future.

"I would love to carry on writing and entering competitions, and one day I’d love to be an author or editor."

To read Eleanor's full story, visit at https://branfordboaseaward.org.uk/the-fear/