College student 'writing her next chapter'

Thursday 30 March 2017

John Leggott College student Jessica Parkinson has been shortlisted this week for the IGGY and Litro Young Writers’ Prize, which attracts submissions from creative 13-18 year olds all over the world. Jess, who joined the college from The St. Lawrence Academy, submitted her short story entitled “The True Fall of Egypt” alongside 440 entries worldwide, and has now reached the final six to be judged!

Jess has been invited to an awards ceremony in April based at the Shard in London, where the winner will be announced, with a £1000 cash prize and opportunity for publication on offer. The experience has been a whirlwind for the young writer, who admits she only entered after persuasion from a fellow John Leggott College student!

Her interest in creative writing stems from a young age when she spent hours jotting stories, a practice she has developed over the years. She knew she wanted to progress to studying English and Creative Writing at A Level, so applying to John Leggott College was a natural choice for Jess.

“Studying English Language and Literature, and Creative Writing at John Leggott College has really helped me to develop my style. I also feel more confident and enjoy sharing ideas and work with other students in my class.”

Her Creative Writing tutor at the college, Katy Gledhill, has motivated Jess during the application process, from offering practical tips to giving moral support. With her competition submission now published on the IGGY website for voting, Jess is naturally hoping that she is the overall winner but acknowledges that her success of being in the final six entries is incredible.

“The whole experience has given me hope – if I can win this, I will have the motivation to move onto bigger competitions. It’s also a stepping stone to kick-start my career in creative writing, particularly as I prepare to move to University in September.”

Jess is now completing her studies at John Leggott College in History, Psychology and an Extended Project Qualification (having already achieved A Levels in English Language and Literature, and Creative Writing). She has been offered a place to study English and Linguistics at Nottingham Trent University, and says that her time at John Leggott College has helped her to “flourish” both academically and personally.

To read Jess’ submission to the IGGY and Litro Young Writers’ Prize, visit the website If you’re interested in the wide range of subjects on offer at John Leggott College, apply before the deadline of 14th April to guarantee your course choices via their website