A BUDDING poet has beaten off stiff competition to become a prizewinner at the tender age of 21.

Jennifer Lane, from Prescot, submitted her poem ‘Desert’ into the National Poetry Competition, which was established by the publisher United Press and had a theme of ‘Deep Secrets’.

Joanna Cummings, one of the judges of the competition, was full of praise for Jennifer’s effort.

She said: “We received hundreds of poems for the competition. They came from all over the UK and many were by published poets.

“So Jennifer’s entry had to be something special,”

“It’s a subtle, yet moving poem and is beautifully written.

“The judges were particularly struck by the poem’s evocative imagery.”

Jennifer, who will receive £100 and have her poem published, said her poem deals with a past relationship.

“It’s about how things can dry up over time,” she said.

“I was going through a lot at the time, and I really wanted to communicate that feeling of dryness and barrenness and being alone. It’s quite bleak!”

Jennifer started writing at just 16, after reading Keats’ poetry for the first time.

“I thought ‘I’ll have a go at that!’ “And I’ve been writing ever since,” she said.

Jennifer is incredibly passionate about literature and currently specialises in children’s fiction in her MA creative writing course.

“Most of my interests are writing and reading-based,” she said.

“I’m really enjoying my MA. I’d like to write more for children, as this is an area I’d like to go into in the future.”