A YOUNG Largs poet has triumphed in a national writing competition with a thought provoking piece about the witches of Scotland and murder victim Sarah Everard.

Talented Oriana Strahan, 12, took first place for her age group in the Words of the World competition run by Scotland’s National Centre for Languages.

The Largs Academy pupil originally wrote the poem in old Scots for her English class and was encouraged to submit it in the national competition.

Oriana explained: “The languages development officer for North Ayrshire heard about my piece and she directed us to the Words for the World competition.

“On the face of it the poem is about the witch trials in Scotland and how the towns' people would blame women for things they didn’t understand or use them as a scapegoats.

“However, it was also written is response to the Sarah Everard case and the persecution women are still subjected to.”

The competition challenges budding writers to use a language other than English to show their ideas, hopes or advice for the world.

The entry could be written in any creative format from a poem, an essay, a song or even a cartoon.

Oriana says she is thrilled to win the competition.

She said: “I actually found out I had won through a Zoom call when I was at my grandparents' house.

“I was invited by the Scottish National Centre for Languages to attend an online finals ceremony, which was really exciting.

“I was extremely surprised but delighted that I won since I was against older writers in the S1 to S3 category.”

Oriana says writing poetry is a real passion and winning such a prestigious competition proves that her hard work is paying off.

She added: “I try to practice regularly and write different types of poetry all the time.

“I have my fair share of bad and good ones but all you need to do to get better at something is to keep trying and put in the extra hours.

“I simply like rhyming and it’s nice to see words fit in perfectly with each other.”