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The 2015 Golden Girl: A Word From Our 10-13 Gold winner

When my name was called out by Jeremy Irons, I sat there in utter shock and disbelief, with crazy-happy thoughts crowding into my mind. You’ve won this! You’ve won the competition that four years ago you never thought you’d win! I started to cry. Tears flooded down my face - I’m not usually so emotional! I got up and walked towards the stage, preparing myself receive the medal from the Duchess of Cornwall. The audience clapped and cheered. As I approached Camilla, she smiled at me and I instantly relaxed. My nerves disappeared and I began to enjoy what was happening. Then, for a few minutes, as my story was being read out so well by Jeremy Irons, my mind started to clear and I felt so proud. He was the best reader I had ever heard, and as an actress myself, he taught me a lot. I loved the way he pronounced the words- making them sounds 10 times better than they did in my mind when I wrote!

Amabel Smith, Gold winner 2015, 10-13 age category.
I suppose you could say that winning 500 Words has completely changed my life.

I thought about my mum sat next to me, and my dad and sister, listening in the hotel room, and my family and friends at home. I was so happy. I introduced the next part of the show while Chris Evans told the entire nation that I was crying- thanks Chris!

However, when the radio show ended, I still had an exciting day ahead of me. I took part in many interviews and appeared on many television shows such as Newsround ( I always love to watch the show, so to be on it was like a dream) and The One Show (also an amazing experience that I will never forget). The other finalists and winners were also amazing people, me and another finalist are actually great friends now; as we ended going to the same high school!

A few weeks later, I arrived home from school to a very excited mum, "Amabel, guess what has just arrived!" She brought out a giant cardboard box and let me open it. It was my prize, Chris Evans' height in books! I instantly started piling up the books so I could see how tall Chris Evans was (even though I had met him before). However, they all fell down so I decided to start reading. I reached out, opened up the first book and started to read, but I couldn't really concentrate because my cousin and sister had decided to play “row your boat” inside the cardboard box.

Pretty soon, a gargantuan box arrived at the main entrance of my primary school. I looked inside; it was at least 500 books! We piled and packed every shelf, but there was just too many. I, my friends and the teachers packed the remaining books into a box and sent them off to my high school. Now they stand proudly on their very own stand in the library- and every time I look at them I'm filled with immense pride.

I suppose you could say that winning 500 Words has completely changed my life. Not just in writing though - acting too. Before the competition, whenever I was in a show I would laugh because I was nervous. 500 Words boosted my confidence and showed me that I can achieve anything when I put my mind to it.

To conclude, winning 500 words was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. Whenever I look back on the day of the final, I am put in a good and creative mood all day.

I really recommend that others should enter 500 words. Even if you don't win, you should always try. Each year you will progress and progress and learn from your mistakes; just like I did. If I hadn't entered when I was just seven, I would never have made it this far as I would never have learnt from my mistakes.

Finally, I would like to thank the entire crew that organized the 500 words competition, without them one of the best days of my life wouldn't have happened!

By Amabel Smith

Jeremy Irons reads 'It's a Wide World'

Voice of the Lion King Jeremy Irons reads the 10 to 13 Gold story

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