A Shropshire student has beaten off the challenge of thousands of rivals to take one of the top spots in a prestigious writing competition – and in a tremendous coup for Ellesmere College, two other students were Highly Commended for their entries!

Amber Coxill, a Year 13 student at the College, won third place in the National Flash Fiction Youth Competition organised by the University of Chester with her composition ‘Thursday’ – an emotive story about a couple’s life journey after their chance meeting in a cafe.

The competition has been running since 2013 and attracts thousands of entries from across the country with those taking part submitting a story of no more than 350 words for consideration.

Ellesmere College featured strongly in this year’s competition with two students being Highly Commended – Leo Buckle, Year 12, for his composition ‘Shopping’ and Alixandra Heasmer-Jones, Year 11, for her story ‘The Games’.

Daniel Bottom, Head of English at Ellesmere College, said: “The results of the competition are great news for the College and our students. The National Flash Fiction Youth Competition is the most prestigious competition of its kind in the country and attracts thousands of entries.

“Many congratulations to Amber for taking third place – a tremendous achievement – and to Leo and Alixandra who also did exceptionally well to receive the accolade of Highly Commended.

“There are guidelines for the competition but entrants are allowed plenty of scope in deciding what they write about. It requires a great deal of thought and talent to tell a story in just 350 words.

“Amber’s story was a touching, bitter-sweet composition which captured the excitement of finding love, a couple’s life journey together and the despair of the situation when things finally start falling apart. Quite an achievement in 350 words!

“Writing competitions are a very good learning experience for students, encouraging creative talents and giving them confidence to share their ideas and inspirations for consideration by a panel of acclaimed literary judges.

“We are delighted with the success of our students in this competition – an achievement which will stand them in good stead in the future.”

Amber’s composition can be read by visiting