Merton pupil secures publishing deal

Merton’s Poplar Primary school student Eliza Jones, aged 11, will be a published author early next year.

As part of the Wimbledon BookFest 2012 Writing Competition with HarperCollins Big Cat, Merton’s schoolchildren from Years Five and Six (aged 9-11) were given the chance to write a story around the theme of ‘Animal Olympics’, to be read by six- and seven-year-olds.

Eliza’s book, which beat entries from 18 junior schools across Merton, 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.”

Notes to editors:
For more information on Merton’s schools, please visit: http://www.merton.gov.uk/schools
For information about HarperCollins, please visit: http://www.harpercollins.co.uk
For more information about the Wimbledon BookFest, please visit: http://www.wimbledonbookfest.org

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Press Contact:
Nina Romain
Communications Officer
London Borough of Merton
020 8545 4654