Sophia's Suffragette story wins accolade

A Berwick Middle School pupil was among the prize-winners in a prestigious national creative writing competition.

Thursday, 6th April 2017, 08:30 am
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 21:16 pm
Sophia Bassi

Sophia Bassi was a runner-up in the Young Walter Scott Prize (11-15 age group) with her story of a suffragette’s family in Edwardian London.

Judges said of the story: ‘Letters are a useful way of telling a story and Sophia has used the format to great effect.

‘Cecilia’s mother is imprisoned, a Suffragette, and while she is incarcerated Cecilia and her family continue to fight her cause.

‘Sophia works a great deal of historical detail into Cecilia’s heartfelt letters, reminding the reader that it is individuals who make up a movement as powerful as that of the Suffragettes. This counterbalance makes the tragic conclusion of the story all the more powerful.’

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The Young Walter Scott Prize, which launched in 2015, is a UK-wide creative writing prize for 11-19 year olds, challenging young people to write a piece of short fiction set in a time before they were born – a time recognisably different from the present.

Entries from across England, Wales and Scotland were judged by a panel including award-winning writer Elizabeth Laird; the prize’s sponsor the Duchess of Buccleuch; its director Alan Caig Wilson, and the literary agent Kathryn Ross.

The Young Walter Scott Prize seeks to connect young people with their world by asking them to investigate their history, their environment and the stories of people, much as a young Walter Scott discovered his inspiration among the hills, people and stories of the Scottish Borders. Among many achievements in his remarkable life, Scott is credited with having invented historical fiction and he wrote what can only be described as the blockbusters of his age.