Absolutely Fab! Joanna Praises Young Writers Bringing History to Life
Byline: David Wilkes
ONE is a gory tale of a young sailor who narrowly avoids getting his arm sawn off by the ship's surgeon after being wounded at sea. The other tells how a 14-year-old boy was pressganged into serving on Nelson's flagship HMS Victory.
The vivid stories were written by Amy Luxton, 18, and Deborah Wood, 14, who were crowned winners in their age groups of the history prize at the Chalke Valley History Festival in Wiltshire yesterday. Theirs were among hundreds of gripping entries in the competition, run in partnership with the Daily Mail and Penguin Books, which challenged children to write stories bringing historical periods to life.
Judges Joanna Lumley, Sebastian Faulks and Charlie Higson congratulated the talented pair, with Absolutely Fabulous star Miss Lumley adding: 'Judging was difficult because we all enjoyed reading these young writers so much.' Amy, who turned 18 yesterday, won the 15-18 group for her imaginative story The Innocence Of Kings, about Joseph Reeves, a tavern worker who finds himself facing the loss of a limb in a dramatic scene after being injured at the Battle of the Nile in 1798, where Nelson won a resounding victory over the French.
Amy, of Ilkley, West Yorkshire, who attends Ilkley Grammar School, said: 'The main character gets injured by musket shot and splinters during a cannon battle. …