A TALENTED young girl has been named as the regional winner of a national poetry contest.

Ella Gemski, 11, who goes to Hunwick Primary School, near Crook, is the North-East winner of the Premier League Writing Stars competition.

More than 25,000 children, aged five to 11, across England and Wales, have submitted original works of poetry themed around diversity.

Ella’s poem was picked as a winner by the competition’s all-star judging panel, which includes former professional footballer Rio Ferdinand, singer and songwriter Olly Murs, Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Lauren Child and poet Joseph Coelho.

She said: “I was shocked because there were so many other people out there who had a chance of winning and I did.

“I was like ‘Oh my Gosh!’’ My mum and Dad were really proud and happy and we celebrated at home where I got congratulations card.”

Ella was presented with a framed version of her poem by her teacher, Michelle Wilkinson, and read her poem aloud to her schoolmates on Friday.

Miss Wilkinson said: “Ella has always enjoyed poetry and it is not the first poem this year that she has written that has been very effective and extremely well written.”