A TEACHER has won a prestigious literary award with a £10,000 prize.

Georgina Kirk, a Year One teacher at St Mary’s RC Primary School in Haslingden Old Road, Rawtenstall, has won the national 2011 Brit Writers Unpublished Award.

The mother-of-two’s picture book ‘Once upon a princess a hairy beard did grow’ impressed judges to beat the other entries in the children’s category before going on to win the overall prize.

She said she will continue with her teaching career as well as her writing.

Mrs Kirk said: “I was absolutely stunned when they called out my name as winner of my category, nevermind when they called out my name as the overall winner.

“I never imagined I would win, I was looking at it as a nice night out and a new experience but everything just went so quickly.

“Everybody who was short-listed was asked to prepare a speech in case they won, and I used mine when I won my category, so I was a little stuck for words when I went up to collect the overall prize.”

She found out she won her category at a glittering award ceremony at London’s Madame Tussauds.

Mrs Kirk, 37, of Newchurch Road, Rawtenstall, has previously only had one short story published in an anthology before entering this competition.

As well as receiving £10,000, Mrs Kirk will now see her 800-word picture book published and in shops in the next three months.

The Brit Writers Unpublished Awards are run in partnership with a host of publishers including Penguin Books, literary agents and producers.