Ailbhe Wheatley, a transition year pupil at Villiers Secondary School, North Circular Road, was honoured for making the final of the 2013 John West Fantasy Writing Awards – no mean feat as the competition attracted 11,070 entries this year.
Describing Ailbhe’s story, The Whales, the judges said: “Maple Murphy is troubled by the sight of beached whales on a beach at the Burren. Why are whales all round the world committing suicide? On an inscribed stone within a whale’s mouth she discovers a very strange, and uplifting, clue that changes her view of the world.”
“It’s a delightful, poetic eco-fantasy,” they added.
Best-selling author, Dr Frank Ryan, is the main judge and his books have been translated into nine languages. He is currently completing the third book in his Irish-legend based fantasy series, The Three Powers.
In his day job as a doctor and scientist, Dr Ryan co-wrote The Eskimo Diet, which pioneered the Omega 3 story for lay readers. His more recent book on this topic, The Brainfood Diet, focuses on the importance of Omega 3 for a healthy brain and mind.
Ailbhe’s teacher at Villiers is John McCrohan. For being a finalist, Ailbhe received a Kindle reader and a personalised sterling silver bookmark.
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