A 12-year-old was presented with first prize in a national writing competition for young people by an award-winning children's novelist.

Vranda Radia, a student at Hatch End High School, won first prize in the 2019 Henrietta Brandford Writing Competition and was given the award by Mitch Johnson on June 27.

To participate, entrants had to complete a story begun by Mr Johnson, who won the 2018 Brandford Boase Award for his debut novel, Kick.

The annual competition is open to anyone under the age of 19, with the hope to find and encourage writers of the future. It runs in conjunction with the Brandford Boase Award, an award to recognise outstanding children’s or young-adult novelists.

Prue Goodwin, a lecturer in literacy and children’s books, judged the entries. She said: “Many entries were full of excellent descriptions, with an exciting range of vocabulary, but Vranda’s story, D.O.R.I.S. stood out because it’s highly original. It features a machine that ‘bends the fabric of space’ to save our world and it kept me intrigued throughout. I really wanted to know what was going to happen next."

As part of her prize, Ms Radia was given a copy of each of the books shortlisted for the Brandford Boase Award and was given the option to have her books signed by the authors present at the awards.

The Branford Boase Award is funded by Walker Books and was set up in memory of the prize-winning author Henrietta Branford and Wendy Boase, editorial director and one of the founders of Walker Books

The Henrietta Brandford Writing Competition was set up in memory of children’s writer Henrietta Brandford and editor Wendy Boase, who both died of cancer in 1999.