Eleven-Year-Old Eliza Secures Book Deal

Wimbledon pupils wins writing competition

Wimbledon youngster Eliza Jones, aged 11, will be a published author early next year.

Her story, around the theme of 'Animal Olympics', beat entries from pupils in 18 junior schools across Merton in a writing competition.

Eliza, a pupil at Poplar Primary School, won the Wimbledon BookFest 2012 Young Writers' Competition with HarperCollins Big Cat, in which Merton pupils aged 9-11 were given the chance to write a story to be read by six and seven-year-olds.

Eliza's book features a number of animals which enter an Olympic-style competition – helped by a baby dragon that lights the Olympic torch by breathing fire on it.

Leader of Merton Council Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: "It is very rewarding to see young talent and creativity rewarded in this way. The story will be very popular as the Games will be fresh in everyone’s minds.”

Poplar headteacher, Katharine Davies, said: "We are all very proud of Eliza. The whole school loved her story. It is very charming with an original twist and a happy ending – ideal for small children.

"We have enjoyed working with HarperCollins and Wimbledon BookFest, as they both support the development of children’s literacy skills by promoting reading and writing for enjoyment."

Wimbledon BookFest director Fiona Razvi said: "The education events and competitions we run are a very big part of BookFest’s work. As well as holding events with established authors during the Festival in October, we are keen to develop young writing talent and instil in children a love of reading and writing that will help them in their futures."

May 22, 2012

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Pictured behind Eliza are: Sarah Thomas from HarperCollins, Wimbledon BookFest director Fiona Razvi, Katharine Davies, Head Teacher, Poplar Primary, David Wood, Writer & Wimbledon Bookfest Patron, and Leader of Merton Council, Stephen Alambritis