The Perse School

Tale of waves of emotion overwhelms judges

17 May 2016

Year 7 student Ana Popescu has won first prize in a regional writing competition for her short story Emotions – a gripping tale of a girl who ventures a little too far from the shore.

Ana was presented with her prize by Francesca Simon, author of the Horrid Henry series, at the BooksEast Festival, the organiser of the competition. Ana’s entry is reproduced below.

Congratulating Ana on her success, Director of English and Drama at The Perse Chris Green said:

“Ana’s imaginative interpretation of the theme makes a compelling short story. She is a dedicated member of our Creative Writing Club, in which she has been honing her skills over this school year, and I’m delighted that her talent has been recognised by the local literary world.”

The challenge set by BooksEast was to write a story of no more than 250 words about ‘waves’. Entries were judged by the Ipswich Childen’s Book Group (which this year celebrates its fortieth year) and a selection of authors.


Happiness. Lydia and her friend, Hayley fill the beach with laughter as they paddle through the warm, shallow waters of the ocean, while the sun sets behind the clouds. As the two girls finish their water fight, Hayley swims back to the shore, but Lydia doesn’t follow.

Curiosity. It fills the little girl. She swims out to sea enthusiastically, thinking that if she goes far enough, she might grow a mermaid tail; even one that glitters in the sunlight like the stars she sees at night.

Panic. Suddenly she feels something, something that she doesn’t quite like. It’s pushing her further and further out to sea. Frantically, she tries to swim back to her parents, but her arms and legs are too weak. She is about to give up, when she hears distant shouts coming from the shore.

Hope. They’ve seen her. She shouts back desperately; this is her last chance to save herself. Suddenly, she spots a small, white rescue boat speeding towards her. So many emotions attack her at once; relief, joy, excitement, but most of all, she feels safe.

Helpless. Without warning, she is pulled into the depths of the water by a huge wave. Struggling to breathe, she tries to scream for help but she can’t make a sound.

Uncertainty. Almost lifeless, Lydia surfaces from the water as it calms. She inhales deeply before closing her eyes and listening to the sound of the waves as they carry her into the unknown.

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