A student from Hatch End High School has been named as one of the winners of a prestigious children’s writing competition.
Yosuf Ali, 14 is a Syrian who only recently arrived in the UK but he beat thousands of entrants to the coveted post.
He only travelled to London last month with the other five winners of the Henrietta Branford Writing Competition. His story From Refugee to King represents a remarkable rise for the youngster who did not know his name in English four months ago.
Yousef revealed his inspiration.
He said: “I was inspired to write this story by the idea that we are all equal but different at the same time. The idea is that we need to understand the significance of good friends in our life and you cannot isolate yourself.
Yosuf thanked his school for supporting him in his ambition to be an author.
He commented: ‘Four months ago, I did not know my name in English. Now I am an author. Hatch End High School has given me confidence and taught me ways I can improve my creative writing through language techniques, vocabulary and introducing me to a wide range of inspiring authors like Shakespeare.’
His story impressed judge Prue Goodwin, lecturer in literacy and children’ books.
Prue wrote: “As I started to read Yosuf’s story, it was obvious that it had been written by an English Language Learner (ELL) yet the narrative flowed dramatically and the thoughts of the narrator revealed understanding and ideas that indicated that there was a very creative mind at work. This young writer has created a metaphor for the chaotic, precarious and terrifyingly incoherent events that people go through to feel safe.”