Edie's Insights: Award-winning speechwriter spills secrets

Awards Event Y11

Having picked up her second national writing award in the space of a few months, Year 11's Edie is on a role. 

Having earlier this year secured a partial scholarship to attend special academic programmes organised by colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, she was back at it, winning the silver award in The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition 2020. Edie couldn't resist when she saw the competition title 'Climate Action and the Commonwealth', as part of a contest organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society. The full speech can be read here.

Very generously Edie took time out of her hectic schedule to talk to News Crew about the experience. 

What inspired you to take part in the contest?
I actually can’t remember where I found out about the competition but when I saw that the theme for this year was ‘Climate action  and the Commonwealth’ I knew I wanted to apply as it combined two of my passions- the climate and writing. 

What inspired the content of your speech?
In each age category there were a few prompts from which you had to choose one. The one I chose was to write a speech imagining you are a leader of one of the commonwealth countries addressing other leaders about climate change. So that was the base of my speech but I did also take inspiration from Greta Thunberg’s speeches which really focus on shocking facts and blunt realities.

How did you react when you found out about the result?
I was quite shocked when I found out my result, as it was just by chance that I logged back onto the entry portal to try and find out when I might find out results when I realised under the ‘grade awarded’ section there was a silver certificate waiting for me. I’m not sure how many silver grades were awarded but just the fact that my writing was acknowledged as being memorable out of 13000 applicants from across the Commonwealth, I viewed as a great achievement!

What subjects or teachers have helped you be successful in these competitions?
Entering a writing competition is most clearly tied to English, as it involves all the skills you develop from writing creatively. It was also Miss Doman who kindly gave me some feedback on my writing before I sent it in. However, I also used my knowledge from Geography to help me with the facts and information about climate change, which I had studied in Year 9.

Are there any more competitions on the horizon?
When another competition comes along that I like the look of, I’ll definitely give it a go, but I don’t have anything lined up as of yet! 

What are your ambitions in future? Do they include public speaking or speech writing?
In the future, I hope to study a degree along the lines of Geography or Human Sciences, both of which involve how humans interact with the environment, something that I’m very interested in. I’m not quite sure what I’d like to do after that, but I would like to go into politics possibly a bit later on, so speech writing will come in useful then I’m sure!



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