A CREATIVE young writer who was inspired by the tear-jerking First World War centenary documentary They Shall Not Grow Old was highly commended for her short story entry in a prestigious writing competition.

Meg Lintern, 16, from High Street, Chapmanslade, and Helena Baxendale, 13, from Bradford on Avon, were among ten highly commended entrants in the Young Walter Scott Prize awards. They will be invited to collect their prizes at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, which takes place from June 13-16.

Meg was moved and inspired to write about the sentiment of the lost generation covered in the recent First World War centenary commemorations and the ground-breaking Peter Jackson documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old, which brought soldiers back to life in colour footage.

The Young Walter Scott Prize, which launched in 2015, is a UK-wide creative writing prize for 11 to 19-year-olds, challenging young people to write a piece of short fiction set in a time before they were born, a time recognisably different from the present.

Meg, who is a pupil at King Edward’s School in Bath, said: “I was inspired to write my piece by the 100-year anniversary of the end of the First World War, and was particularly moved by the sentiment of the lost generation.

“This led me to explore the stories behind the statistics, hence I tried to encapsulate the immense personal loss behind the countless names on the war memorials in my area.

“The BBC documentary They Shall Not Grow Old made me cry like a baby, and I really wanted to express this emotion through my story.”

YWSP director Alan Caig Wilson said: “This year the range and expertise of the writing was impressive and in many cases astonishing.

“Young writers who enter the Young Walter Scott Prize are continuing to be perceptive, engaged, energetic and inspirational in the way they look at and think about the world they encounter.”

Judge Kathryn Ross said: “The best of these young writers are well read, curious about the past and able to put themselves in the shoes of the people who inhabited that past, real or imagined.

“The Young Walter Scott Prize asks a great deal of the entrants, and they have risen to the challenge in ways that are eye-opening and heartening.”

Judge Eleanor Updale said: “As a new judge on the team, I have been struck by the verve with which our young writers set their imagination to work on events from the past.

“The best of the stories show skills in the craft of writing and the art of storytelling of which anyone, of any age, would be proud.”

The Young Walter Scott Prize seeks to connect young people with their world by asking them to investigate their history, their environment and the stories of people.