Wycliffe student, Chloe, wins national poetry competition for poem about great gran's dementia

11:24am Tuesday 1st July 2014

By Sarah Yates

WHEN Wycliffe student Chloe Bayliss was given homework to write a poem, the last thing she expected was to end up at one of the country’s top literary awards.

The 14-year-old’s efforts resulted in Chloe winning a national poetry competition. Her inspiration was her great gran who suffered from dementia.

The theme of the competition, organised by the Authors' Lending and Copyright Society, was to write about an experience that has had a great impact on your life.

“When my great gran had dementia I used to go see her a lot,” said Chloe, from Sopworth. “It was upsetting that I would go and help her but she did not know who I was.”

When English teacher Elaine Lambert read Chloe's effort she knew it was something special.

“There was something very moving about it,” said Mrs Lambert. “It's a wonderful accomplishment for a young person who thought they weren't very good at English and who has recently been diagnosed with dyslexia.”

Chloe, who is in year 9 at the Stonehouse school, didn't believe the news when she was told she had won.

“I find English really hard. I never thought I'd win,” she said.

Part of her prize was to attend to the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Carnegie awards for children's literature.

After the ceremony Chloe met Carnegie medal winner Kevin Brooks.

“My dad gave him a copy of my poem to read. He wrote on it ‘This is amazing. You're a writer. Keep going’,” said Chloe. “It was great.”

Chloe also won a Kindle Fire and £500 for Wycliffe to spend on books.

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