Year 10 Norwich High School for Girls student Natalie wins GDST Creative Writing Award

Posted on 23rd May 2023

Year 10 student Natalie has won the GDST Creative Writing Award for her piece ‘My Short Fifteen Years’

This year, the theme for the GDST Creative Writing Prize was ‘Our Planet’. The entries were judged by Rachel Hore, an alumna of Sutton High School.

Rachel Hore attended Sutton High School between 1970 and 1978, after which she read Modern History at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. For many years she enjoyed a career as an editor for HarperCollins in London before moving with her family to Norwich, where she started to write fiction and taught publishing and creative writing part-time at the University of East Anglia. Rachel is now a full-time writer, the author of twelve novels, many of them Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers. A Place of Secrets, Last Letter Home and A Beautiful Spy were each selected by Richard and Judy for their Bookclub in association with WH Smith. The Glass Painter’s Daughter (2009) was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Novel of the Year. A Gathering Storm (2011) was shortlisted for their Historical Novel of the Year. Her new novel, One Moonlit Night, set in the Norfolk countryside and wartime France, was published in 2022.

Rachel commented:

“I enjoyed reading the impressive range of submissions for the Creative Writing Prize this year on the subject of ‘Our Planet’. It was sobering to realise how well these young writers comprehend our poor stewardship of the planet, but impressive to see a strong sense of moral justice at work. They are outraged in these stories and poems and call for things to be put right. A large number of pieces addressed the despoilation of our oceans by pollution, the threat to bio-diversity and the effects on landscapes of devastating global warming. Many stories and poems focused on ways to restore our planet’s health, particularly by appeal to governments, and by calling on humanity to change its destructive ways. Writings by the younger age groups tended towards optimism for change. A note of cynicism entered the work of older students, however, many favouring accounts of humanity seeking refuge on other planets or dramatising aspects of humanity’s last moments.”

Natalie, a student in Year 10 at Norwich High School for Girls, has been announced as the winner for the Years 10 and 11 age category.

Her entry, ‘My Short Fifteen Years’ was praised by judge Rachel Hore for being “A passionate, cogently argued and well sustained piece of creative non-fiction that explores the devastating effects of cyberspace on the hearts and minds of the younger generation.”

You can read her piece here.