Connie Callon, has been recognised in the Lancaster Writing Awards which seeks to honour emerging talents and this year received more than 250 entries from across the UK.
“It came as a real surprise and I don’t think I understood how big a deal it was until all my tutors started congratulating me,” said Connie.
Due to illness Connie studied at home during the final year of her GSCEs, but still managed to secure five As.
The former Woolston High School pupil was suffering from a fast heart rate, chest pains, dizziness, extreme tiredness and regularly passed out.
Her health issues continued at Priestley College where she has received extra support, but her condition was only diagnosed earlier this year when doctors discovered she had POTS syndrome and was also suffering chronic migraines.
Despite her health difficulties Connie’s literary piece about a dystopian world where ‘image is everything’ has made the final 10 of the Lancaster Writing Awards.
Priestley Tutor Clare Marshall said: “It is an achievement for anyone to be recognized in this way, but even more impressive for Connie given everything she has had to cope with in the past few years.”
Connie, who studies English, Psychology and Maths at Priestley College, was inspired by the mythology of Narcissus and the current obsession with body image.
She took it to a dystopian conclusion where everyone undergoes surgery at the age of 12 to look like one of two ‘models’ for each sex.
The Hunger Games fan hopes to continue the story further after she finishes her exams this summer and wants to go on to Lancaster University to study English.
If the 18-year-old is shortlisted further she will be invited to Lancaster University’s Sixth Form Conference in July for an awards ceremony.
All the judges in the Lancaster Writing Awards are members of the university’s eminent teaching staff including Whitbread Prize-winning poet Professor Paul Farley.
“We have been really impressed with the quality of the work received this year,” said Head of Department Professor John Schad.