Through the help of a writing competition promoted by BBC News, English native Louise Arnold has stepped into the spotlight as a writer of children’s literature. Their search for “the next J.K. Rowling” has turned Arnold’s dream of being a writer into reality. However, as with most successes, there have been struggles along the way. In Arnold’s case, her dyslexia has presented a challenge in her life, but she has been able use this to her advantage in her work through a better understanding of herself.

Arnold’s life as a writer began at a very young age, writing her very first poem at the age of 4. She graduated from University of Kent in England in 2003 with a degree in drama. It was while studying at the University that she discovered her dyslexic diagnosis. In an interview with BBC News, she says college became very difficult for her, and so she went to see an educational psychologist. As a result, she was officially diagnosed with dyslexia, and “suddenly it all made sense, it wasn't just me being scatty," she said. However, her dyslexia turned out to help her writing because she was able to write about her struggles. Soon after winning BBC News’ competition in 2003, she was contacted by an agent who helped her publish her first book, titled The Invisible Friend. It was published in 2005 and has seen great success among elementary- to middle school-aged children. Arnold was given a timeline of a year to complete the book, and she talks about her “chronic daydreaming” and the challenges of staying focused during the process. However, she hopes to stand as a role model for those struggling with dyslexia and show that it doesn’t have to hold you back.

You can read more about Louise Arnold and her success here.