Budding St Albans author proves she has the write stuff

PUBLISHED: 21:00 17 May 2016

Mandeville Primary School's Olivia Harding, 10, finished in the top 10 of a national story writing competition with a story based on the Timmy Failure Children's books.

Mandeville Primary School's Olivia Harding, 10, finished in the top 10 of a national story writing competition with a story based on the Timmy Failure Children's books.

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A St Albans schoolgirl has fought off competition from nearly 400 pupils nationwide to finish in the top 10 of a national story-writing competition.

Mandeville Primary School's Olivia Harding, 10, wrote a story as part of the National Literary Trust's story competition.Mandeville Primary School's Olivia Harding, 10, wrote a story as part of the National Literary Trust's story competition.

Olivia Harding, in Year 5 at Mandeville Primary School, took part in the National Literacy Trust’s Timmy Failure competition - where children wrote their own 500 word tale on the hapless detective from the Stephan Pastis series of children’s books.

Teacher Cate Cooper said: “We were going to be writing detective stories in class anyway, then I saw online that this competition was coming up so we got the books and read them in class.”

All the children wrote their own stories in the style of the books, which feature a polar bear as Timmy Failure’s sidekick.

Cate said the style the books were written in were different to 10-year-old Olivia’s usual choice of genre.

“Not only do they have to be funny, there’s lots of drawings in the books so they had to think of some,” she said.

“Olivia is an avid reader, she loves reading and writing, but it was out of her comfort zone to write something like this, and she finished in the top 10 out of hundreds entries that took part so it’s such an achievement.

“I’m massively proud of her, I even rang her on a bank holiday to tell her because we were so proud and she said she couldn’t believe it, but she’s very modest and humble about it all.”

Not only is Olivia’s story displayed on the wall in her class, but she won a set Timmy Failure books from the trust for her fantastic achievement.

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