AN 11-YEAR-OLD Glasgow boy has become a local star after coming second in a UK-wide writing competition. 

Spencer Marshall, who attends Scotstoun Primary School, won silver in the eight to 11 age group of BBC’s 500 Words competition. 

The prestigious competition, which takes place annually, saw Spencer and just five other exceptional kids take home prizes – beating around "44,000 other entries" to the top spots.  

Glasgow Times:

Speaking on the achievement, Spencer’s mum Gillian Marshall said: “We are all so proud of him. 

“He was really overwhelmed when he learned he had come second, he is such a humble wee boy. 

“He wrote the piece completely independently at school and we didn’t even know he had entered until he told us he got through to the final 5000. 

“He was competing against 44,000 – it is just amazing.”

Glasgow Times:

Spencer’s story, titled The Scottish Gangsta, takes place at a Tesco supermarket (inspired by the Tesco in Whiteinch where the family is based) during a heist – which is led by a fictional Scottish gangster.

Throughout the short story, Spencer’s piece is filled with imagination, laughs and even some hypnotising bagpipes.  

Glasgow Times:

And what makes Spencer’s achievement even more impressive, is that he struggles with the likes of reading and writing after being diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of seven. 

“Spencer has always been very creative but has found reading and writing a challenge due to his dyslexia,” Gillian, 50, explained. 

She continued: “But the good thing about the competition was that spelling and such wasn’t taken into account, it was all judged on the plot and creativity. The judges didn’t even know that he had dyslexia. It was all judged completely anonymously. 

“It makes it even more wonderful; it is such an achievement.” 

Glasgow Times:

Spencer and the other prize winners were invited to Buckingham Palace on February 28 to receive their awards and meet Queen Camilla as part of a special One Show episode celebrating the awards. 

The Queen Consort invited comedian Romesh Ranganathan and a host of celebrity readers including actors Hugh Bonneville, Luke Evans, Tom Hiddleston, dancer Oti Mabuse and singer Olivia Dean.

Alongside meeting Queen Camilla, Spencer also met author Malorie Blackman, who was one of the judges for the competition and even had his story read out by Hugh. 

Spencer and the other finalists were also interviewed briefly by Alex Jones for the One Show episode. 

Glasgow Times:

Spencer’s visit to the big city was followed by World Book Day, which took place on March 7. 

On the day, Spencer’s classmates and teacher certainly made him feel special by throwing him a party to celebrate his success. 

Gillian added: “For World Book Day his classmates and teacher went as characters from his book. 

“Some went as Tesco employees; the teacher was the Scottish gangster – he was so overwhelmed by it all and really chuffed. 

“Everyone, especially his classmates, has just been so supportive.” 

To find out more about the competition, click HERE