JCSC student Lily Tibbitts, 18, has been awarded first place National Rotary’s Young Writer competition 2021-2022. The young author was presented with her award by President of Rotary Amble & Warkworth Richard Brearley, at a ceremony on Tuesday 19th July. The event was attended by her family and Miss Swallow, Second in English at James Calvert Spence College (JCSC). 

Sixth former, Lily, is by no means a stranger to literary success. Her path to winning the National Rotary Young Writer competition started aged 13 when Lily heard about the organisation’s competition through teachers at JCSC and entered for the first time. Lily went on to be crowned regional winner of the competition from 2017 to 2021, and last year made it through to the national finals where she was awarded third place. Lily was also winner of the Year 10+ category of the New Writing North Young Northern Writers’ Awards 2021. This upper age limit for the Rotary Young Writers competition is 17, and so Lily this year signs off her run of Rotary success as overall winner.

A keen writer from a young age, she has been a member of New Writing North’s Amble Young Writers Group for a number of years and also writes for the Ambler where she chronicled the trials and tribulations of lockdown in her own Corona Diary. She hopes to pass the baton to James Calvert Spence College’s younger students and this year has been acting as a writing mentor by assisting with the lower school’s Creative Writing club through the in-school volunteering programme.

“They are really good writers, I’ve been blown away by just how good they are. I really enjoyed being part of the club and seeing the confidence of the Year 6 writers grow each week. We also looked at different competitions club members could enter. For me, entering the Rotary competitions helped to build my writing confidence and encouraged me to keep writing, so it was a great feeling to be the national winner this year.”

Student Lily is due to receive her A-level results this summer before she embarks on the next part of her journey, studying English Literature and Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

Miss Swallow, Second in English at James Calvert Spence College, said: “We would like to wish Lily the best of luck on the next part of her journey. It’s been an absolute pleasure teaching Lily – she is a talented writer who has demonstrated real grit and passion to push that talent forward, her Rotary win is very well deserved. She is also a kind and generous person and I would like to thank her for sharing her literary love and enthusiasm with the next generation of JCSC writers.”

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