A STORY of hypnosis and elves has led to a Ceiriog Valley primary school pupil's 'surprise' win in a national writing competition.

Owain Rhys Jones, of Ysgol Cynddelw, entered the national story-writing competition launched by Radio Cymru presenter Aled Hughes.

Entrants were tasked with writing a story titled “Y Penblwydd”, meaning “The Birthday”.

The eight-year-old submitted his effort, and received the good news his story had been selected as the best entry in the Year 3 and Year 4 category.

He took first place in the first-language Welsh section.

As a reward, Aled Hughes presented his Rhaglen Aled Hughes show – a Welsh language radio programme – from the school, and presented Owain with a book voucher for £50 from the Welsh Book Council.

Owain said he was delighted to have won the competition and said that it has inspired him to continue writing stories.

“I felt very happy and I was surprised to win” he said.

“My story was about an elf whose enemy hypnotised everyone to forget his birthday – but it has a happy ending.

“I read a lot and I am now going to be writing a follow-up now and eventually turn it into a series of books.

“The win has inspired me to do the series.”

Owain added that the work was all done from his own imagination, something his mum, Bethan Jones, believes is helped by his interest in reading.

She said: “Owain is a big reader; he reads all sorts, but he does enjoy reading comic books which I think helps to get his imagination going.

“He’s really pleased with the prize in that sense – he has already bought some new books with the prize already.”

Bethan said she is proud to see her son succeed in the first-language Welsh section especially.

She added: “He studies in the Welsh-medium department at the school, and our house is Welsh-speaking.

“His story was picked out among Welsh first-language students across the country.

“I’m very proud of him, it really is quite an achievement.

“Owain was surprised, but he is very pleased with himself.”