An article on homophobia has earned its teenaged writer a top 10 place in the Amnesty International Youth Awards.
Buckingham student Fenella Sentance was shortlisted to the final 10 in the Human Rights Reporter of the Year category.
She said: “Even though, obviously, I entered the competition with a hope my work might be considered, I did not actually, really think about the idea of getting shortlisted. To feel, even just slightly, part of something that inspires and creates change is the most wonderful feeling.”
Fourteen-year-old Fenella attends Royal Latin School and was one of 7,000 writers who took part in the awards. Her work was judged by a panel of editors and authors who selected three pieces from the six categories , from which an eventual winner will be chosen. Fenella said homophobia is something she has always had a connection with.
She went on: “Having friends who are gay themselves and hearing the unconscious slander thrown to them, has always infuriated and upset me.
“I remember asking people not to use ‘gay’ as an insult from the age of around 10 or 11, and sadly pepople still use it.
“While I do see other forms of discrimination, the casual homophobia is the aspect of inequality I see on a daily basis.”
Children aged from seven to 21 entered the contest to write a 500-word piece on a human rights-related subject.
Other categories were photographer, campaigner, fundraiser, songwriter performer and songwriter lryicist.