A TALENTED teenager from Kilbarchan beat thousands of poets to be named in the top 15 of one of the world’s largest literary competitions.

Neave Scott, 17, won the accolade at The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, in London, for her poem A High.

Writers from 89 different countries, including Myanmar, Syria and Zimbabwe, entered the contest.

And Neave’s poem was picked in the top 15 from more than 11,000 submitted.

The short poem, written at 4am one morning after trying to finish a project, describes the state between being asleep and awake.

St Benedict’s High School pupil Neave told The Gazette: “I never thought it would be possible to reach the top 15. I’m really surprised. I just entered the competition to try to get my name out there.

“The first poem I recall enjoying was Sylvia Plath’s The Disquieting Muses. I became enraptured with Plath’s work and I read it to death. There’s nothing I love more than reading and writing and learning about language.

“I’m really looking forward to learning from other poets now.”

Neave, along with the other top 15 poets, will be invited to attend a residential writing course, where she will spend a week with experienced tutors, focusing on improving her poetry.

Her poem will also be published in a printed winners’ anthology from March next year, which will be distributed to thousands of schools and libraries across the UK.

Competition judge Kayo Chingonyi said: “I was particularly struck by the number of poems that reflected on the complexities of living at this particular moment in time. Lines from some of the poems pop into my head now and again.”

Meanwhile, Neave also clinched the literature prize at the Positive About Youth awards hosted by Renfrewshire Youth Voice last week.

The awards are held to celebrate the skills of young people in the area aged between 12 and 25.

More than 250 guests turned out for the ceremony at the Normandy Hotel in Renfrew.