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Winning Shine 2015: Annabelle Moss tells her story

We are thrilled that Shine 2015 winner Annabelle Moss has written to us talking about her ‘Shine story’.

Annabelle was one of the winners of a ‘writing masterclass’ with Daily Telegraph journalist and Shine presenter Simon Heffer.


It was a cold, crisp October morning as I made my way through the busy streets of London. With my scarf wrapped closely around my neck, I checked my watch to see how much time I had to spare. After a brisk walk through the tube station and over the beautiful grounds of St Paul’s Cathedral, I was there – the striking and exquisite building that is Stationers’ Hall. The magnificence of the scene sparked a sudden wave of anticipation; the opportunity of a lifetime was just a few moments away from me.

My Masterclass with Simon Heffer was perhaps one of the most significant experiences of my life, and the advice that he gave to me was beyond invaluable. After meticulously going through my article, I have come away with pointers and tips for how to make a piece of writing up to a journalistic standard. We discussed a whole range of topics, including foreign languages, particular lexical choices, and possible university options for my future.

As I sat there, intently hanging on to every last word, I thought to myself, how have I been so lucky to get here? When the meeting was over, I further pondered this question. I cast my mind back to February earlier this year, when the chance to enter in the Shine School Media Awards was acknowledged by my Sixth Form. Thinking back to that moment, we almost didn’t enter, and it was only with hard work and continued dedication from the Sixth Form Magazine team that we were lucky enough to get through to the national final of the competition.

When my name was announced at the awards, I almost couldn’t believe it was me. To have a piece of my writing picked out by professional journalists is beyond flattering, and the sense of achievement overwhelmed me. Reminding myself of how I came to be back down in London really made me appreciate the effort and commitment made by the Stationers’ Company. In particular, Anneliese, who made me feel so welcome and gave me incredible advice for the forthcoming years of my life.

Overall, I am honoured to have been able to experience the magic of the journalistic world. As I made my way back through London in the bustle of rush-hour traffic, I did wonder if the whole experience had really just happened. Reflecting back on the day, I now know how lucky I was. If there is one thing the Shine Awards has taught me, it is that anything is possible.