A YOUNG writer is celebrating literary success after walking away with a prestigious Portico Prize for Young Writers.

Erin Taylor, a Year 13 student at Bolton School, picked up the award in the poetry category at a special prize dinner at the Portico Prize Dinner at Manchester Town Hall attended by literary heavyweights including Val McDermid, Jeanette Winterson and Dame Joan Bakewell. All three had been shortlisted for the Portico Prize for Literature.

The Portico Prize for Young Writers is a regional literary competition for promising writers and mirrors the Portico Prize for Literature.

Erin, aged 18, said: “Winning the competition was completely unexpected but I’m proud to have won.

“The inspiration for my poem was my cousins, who played a huge part in my life when I was growing up, and as I get older, I can appreciate how wonderful my childhood was.In the future I would like to study Japanese at University, with the hope of a career translating Japanese novels into English.”

The Portico Prize is described as one of the country’s leading literary prizes, aiming to celebrate the strong regional identity of the north.

Schools across the North West are invited to nominate their three most promising writers aged between 14 and 18-years-old. The girls attend workshops with professional writers and are appointed mentors from Manchester Metropolitan University’s creative writing undergraduates. They had to produce a piece of poetry or prose on the theme ‘The North’ and judging took place in July.

Erin’s winning poem was entitled Stockton Heath.

Two other Bolton School pupils, Annie Simon and Georgia Thurston, both aged 17, were highly commended. All three girls will receive book tokens and have their work included in the Portico Prize for Young Writers 2012 Anthology, and on the website.

A spokesperson for Manchester Metropolitan University said: “The Manchester Writing School is proud to have been involved with the Portico Prize for Young Writers.

“The standard of writing was very high and we would like to congratulate Erin on her win.”