Last year’s winner says: Give it a go!

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As the closing date for entries in Junior Journalist of the Year 2013 approaches, last year’s winner is urging all aspiring young writers ‘to give it a go’.

At the age of 10 St John’s primary school student Isabelle Barber won the competition in 2012 after she impressed the judges with her enthusiastic and well researched account of the Isle of Man’s qualities as a tourist destination.

Isabelle, now aged 11, said: ‘I’d say to anyone thinking of entering, just give it a go. I entered the competition for the fun of it and because I really like writing. I love the Isle of Man and have visited so many places here, which is why I chose to write about how good it is for a holiday.’

She continued: ‘It was a huge surprise for me – and for my mum and dad – when I won. Winning Junior Journalist has made me more confident and imaginative in my writing and I’m using the dictionary a lot now so I can include more grown-up words.’

Isabelle has entered this year’s competition and for her topic has chosen ‘Leading Education into the Future’, which tasks students to write a manifesto outlining their priorities were they the island’s Minister for Education and Children. ‘I enjoy school so would probably want to make sure schools carried on being as good as they are now,’ she said, adding: ‘Winning Junior Journalist in 2012 was really exciting, so I’ve a lot to live up to this year.’

Organised by Isle of Man Newspapers in association with the Department of Education and Children Junior Journalist is being sponsored for the third year in succession by Celton Manx.

Executive director Bill Mummery said: ‘I had the pleasure not only to present Isabelle with her trophy last year but also to read her winning entry.

‘She conveyed her passion for the island most compellingly in her article and showed a creative flair and maturity well beyond her years.

‘It is precisely this power of Junior Journalist to inspire young minds and encourage primary school students to take those vital early steps towards discovering the pleasure of creative writing that led us to sponsor the competition again in 2013.

‘Supporting personal endeavour and helping young people and adults achieve their potential are central to how Celton Manx chooses to engage with the community in which it operates. I wish all this year’s fledgling journalists every success and look forward to the awards presentation in June.’

The closing date is May 7.

To enter, email

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