North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2020 North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2021

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Writing hat trick for Julia

Friday 15 January 2021

2020 may have been a year of missed opportunities for some, but not for aspiring writer, performer and Year 12 student, Julia Coyle, who achieved a hat trick of successes in a number of national competitions.

First off, Julia went through four gruelling rounds to become a finalist in the BBC Young Reporter Competition. This included interviews, pre-recorded pieces to camera, written exercises and video reporting during the final round. Julia’s final submission piece was on coastal erosion and land slips on the North East Coast, examining measures in place and making comparisons to similar problems experienced in many Dutch coastal towns.

Following on from this, Julia then became a prize winner at the inaugural Louise Rennison National Funny Awards. Julia wrote and performed a comedic three minute video sketch for the competition, with judges including Julia Eccleshare, Children’s Editor of The Guardian and Director of The Hay Festival, as well as a panel of BBC performers and writers. One of the judge’s commented,

“I LOVED this. So many great jokes, the use of the piano was brilliant … Amazing acting too. This girl is one to watch!”

As part of her prize, Julia received a selection of books which she kindly donated to the school’s Lawson Library to inspire other writers and performers.

Last year also saw Julia awarded a bursary by New Writing North to attend a professional writing course which ran during the summer. The course gave her the opportunity to complete a portfolio of written work and attend 1-2-1 tutorials with young adult author and writing tutor, Rupert Wallis, from Oxford University.

In addition to all this, during the autumn term, Julia spent time reviewing a number of live sessions for Durham Book Festival including a panel discussion on the life and work of philosopher, Mary Midgley.

The Louise Rennison NFA judge is right, Julia is definitely one to watch!

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