Catherine pens a wartime winner

Catherine Missin wins the Wisbech Grammar writing competition

Catherine Missin wins the Wisbech Grammar writing competition - Credit: Archant

A budding young writer has won the John Gordon short story competition at Wisbech Grammar School with a wartime tale set in the Fens.

Catherine Missin, 12, who lives in Wisbech, beat off competition from her whole year group to take the top prize in the competition, which is now in its fourth year.

The prize is named after a highly acclaimed novelist who attended the school.

After reading a book consisting of a diary of a midwife, Catherine was inspired to write a story set in the local area about a midwife living during the Second World War.

Judging the competition for the second time was past pupil Simon Pitt, who joined the BBC after reading English at Cambridge.


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He spent a year at Radio Drama before taking over managing all the software for the Corporation and is now running a small team that builds programme-making software for mobile phones and tablets.

Simon, who takes on the judging role in a personal capacity, said: “Catherine’s story, set in a surgery during the Second World War, balances its plot with humour and heart.”

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Catherine had enjoyed previous writing success as a pupil at the preparatory school, Magdalene House, when one of her short stories was published in a book, but she was taken by surprise when the decision was announced.

John Gordon is the author of 15 fantasy novels and more than 50 short stories.

His latest novel, Fen runners, is set in a landscape which seems eerily familiar to readers living in Wisbech.

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