A TEENAGE writer from Malton has won first prize in a national writing competition for young people.

Alice Rose Jennings, 16 and home-schooled, won the annual Henrietta Branford Writing Competition for her short story, A Bad Spell.

The annual competition for young people aims to find the writers of the future. It runs alongside the Branford Boase Award; a literary prize presented to an outstanding children’s or young-adult novel by a first-time writer.

The writing competition is open to anyone under the age of 19. Entrants must complete a story, between 800 and 1,000 words, begun by the previous year’s Branford Boase winner.

Judge Prue Goodwin, lecturer in literacy and children’s books, said: “Being given a paragraph starter to a story is not as straightforward as it seems, especially when the judge is looking for something original. Our six winners developed the same opening lines into totally different stories.

“Each writer showed an extra flair for making their ideas into an original piece of work which made me want to know what was going to happen next.

“Alice’s story, A Bad Spell, is clever, exciting and features some wonderful dialogue.”

Alice attended the Branford Boase Award celebration party in London and was awarded her prize by Prue Goodwin.