A SELF-confessed bookworm with a big imagination will find out in the next few months whether his prize-winning idea for a Stone Age adventure will be developed into a children’s book.
Ballinamallard schoolboy, Matthew Graham (13), has received a £1,000 prize after being named as one of five runners-up in this year’s ‘Big Idea’ competition.
This UK-wide competition, which is open to all ages, offers entrants the opportunity to see their idea for a children’s story developed by a top author.
A keen reader who likes to research ancient history, Matthew came up with an idea for a story called ‘Sean’s Journey Home’.
It centres on young Sean Cobblestones, who goes on an adventure across Ireland 12,000 years ago with his dog Luna and a new friend called Alana.
They encounter lots of mythic things and have to get over huge mountains and run away from cults.
Although the Devenish College pupil missed out on the top prize, his idea really impressed the judging panel.
There is still a possibility that it will get picked up by a children’s author and perhaps even turned into a film.
One of the judges, poet and author Jen Campbell, said: “It’s very, very vivid and really captured our imagination. I hope that it’s brought to life in book form one day.”
Of the six prize-winners from last year’s competition, three are currently seeing their ideas being developed for publication.
Matthew lives with his parents, Kenneth and Jill, in Beechgrove Park and will be going into Year 10 at Devenish College in September.
Proud mum Jill says that her son enjoys learning about Ptolemic Egypt and Romans and is also teaching himself Latin at present. His favourite subjects at school are English, French and history.
Mrs. Graham said that Matthew found out about the competition through Mrs. Nixon, who is literacy coordinator at Devenish College.
“Matthew was very excited to enter this competition and only had a short amount of time to think of his ideas as the closing date was almost up and it had to be sent off to London,” his mum added.