Diary winning entry takes no prisoners

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A Year 10 student with Asperger’s has won the John Bunyan Museum Diary Writing Competition.

Oscar Francis West, a pupil at the Samuel Whitbread Academy, Shefford, was one of more than 100 entrants in the prestigious competition.

Run by the John Bunyan Museum in Bedford,the competition was open to all students and visitors to Bedfordshire. Entrants were invited to write a text as John Bunyan in one of the four stages of his life (tinker, soldier, prisoner or preacher).

Oscar wrote a diary entry as John Bunyan the prisoner, a piece of work commended for its research.

Oscar says he loves history and Sarah Jellis, the Head of Learning Support at Samuel Whitbread, has been encouraging him to write about it.

Oscar, who won in his age group (Year 8 - 10), attended the prize giving ceremony at the Museum last month and received a £20 book token. His work will also be displayed in the Museum throughout the summer.

Oscar said: “I am very proud to have participated in such a wonderful competition.”

The following is an extract from Oscar’s prize winning diary entry, written as John Bunyan:

“‘No force on God’s green earth shall ever make me denounce my preaching words of Christ and so I may well stay here until judgement day.’”

Sarah Jellis said: “Oscar thoroughly deserved to win.

“It was a beautifully crafted and well researched piece of text. It was quite simply one of the best pieces of student writing that I have seen in all my years of teaching.”

In the future, Oscar would like to be a history writer or a curator of a museum.