A Smestow pupil has attended an awards ceremony in the Wolverhampton after her story was chosen as one of the finalists in a young author competition.

Charlotte Crowther entered the competition for 7 to 14-year-olds which challenged youngsters to write a story with a travel theme of 500 words.

Her story, The Long Journey, told of the heartache of one family’s break-up after war was declared in 1939, leading to the father joining up for military service and his three children faced with evacuation to the countryside.

As a finalist, Charlotte received a VIP ticket to the Young Author Competition Awards Show at the Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton, where a production of the stories by the four finalists was performed on stage by students from the City of Wolverhampton College of Performing Arts.

She was also given the opportunity to take part in a free collection of workshops ahead of the show where the finalists could meet, ask questions and be inspired by three successful local writers.

Rachel Vernon, of Smestow School, said Charlotte’s story was a moving account of a situation many families found themselves in at the outbreak of World War II.

“We are so thrilled and proud of Charlotte and the thoughtful piece of writing that she has produced,” she said. “This winning entry is a testament to her hard work and dedication to not only English but also creative writing.

“The Long Journey was a thought-provoking story of the emotional upheaval of a young family facing separation after the declaration of war.

“Who can’t fail to be moved by the radical changes to people’s lives at that time and particularly the situation ‘Kate’ finds herself in as a wife and mother of three.

“One moment she is keeping a family home going and the next she loses her children to evacuation and her husband to take part in the fighting. Will he return?

“The competition sparked some excellent and very creative stories and was well supported by schools and students across the city. All their efforts should be applauded.”

Finalists were able to take inspiration from successful local writers David J Robertson, John Edgar and Rosina Trotman during the workshops.

David J Robertson’s latest book, Dognapped, was a finalist in The People’s Book Prize last year, while John Edgar has had a long and successful career of writing for theatre, corporate film and BBC Radio. Rosina Trotman is a poet, writer and children’s author.