TWO pupils from Llandrindod High School have had their literacy talents recognised after winning first prize in their school Eisteddfod.
James Wagstaff (aged 12) from Llandrindod High school, won the 2017 Bardic Chair for his poem ‘I belong here’, whilst Lydia Berry (aged 13) won the 2017 ‘Crown’ short story competition for her ‘Extracts taken from the diary of a World War II soldier, Private Young’.
On winning James said: “I wrote the poem when I went to High School in September. I had been to a rap workshop when I was in the last year at primary school which was brilliant. I remembered to think about pulling all the words I wanted to use together to describe my subject and then weave them together.”
Lydia’s story was singled out for praise by the judges for being “an extraordinary piece of writing for someone so young”. When asked what advice she would give other budding writers, her advice was: “Write about what interests you most, because it will stop you from becoming bored. Keep it brief, develop detail and description when it comes to scenes and characters. Above all – just enjoy the whole writing process – it throws up some lovely surprises.”
Both pupils impressed portfolio holder for libraries Cllr Rachel Powell with their work. She said: “It is such a pleasure to have two young and enthusiastic writers such as James and Lydia, who obviously are passionate about their own personal literacy journey through this competition. It is clear that they both have much talent and I trust that this competition, will prompt them to continue to write in the future”.
She added: “Libraries continue to offer a valuable experience for all learners who wish to access them. I believe that Lydia is an active library member and this was part of many positive influences that has inspired her to write. It was also very refreshing to know that James attended a rap workshop which clearly left a positive impression and enthused him to develop his own unique style of writing through a contemporary poem which proved to be creditable within this competition.”