A budding artist from Oswestry has moved a step further in becoming one of the designers of Royal Mail’s 2017 Christmas stamps.

As part of Royal Mail’s children’s Christmas Stamp Design Competition, the entry by Emma Barnes, aged 10, of Moreton Hall, was chosen from amongst the 21,231 entries submitted from across the West Midlands region.

Emma’s entry has been shortlisted and will now go through to the next stage of the competition where local judges will select their top two designs to represent the region in the national final.

Local judges for the West Midlands region will include: Claire Spreadbury from the Press Association, Caroline Wright from British Educational Suppliers Association, Geoff Braden from Royal Mail and Peter Knott from the Arts Council.

A national panel of judges will then select the two designs that will feature on this year’s First and Second Class Christmas stamps. The stamps will be on sale from 7 November 2017.

Emma has already won £100 in vouchers and £100 for her schools. However, this will increase if she progresses in the competition*.

Astonishing response to the competition

Royal Mail has received over 200,000 entries from children aged 4-11 years old from across the UK in response to the question: ‘What does the Christmas season mean to you?’

Only three times before in Royal Mail’s history – 1966, 1981 and 2013 – have the official Christmas stamps been designed by children.

As with all Special Stamps issued by Royal Mail, both winning designs will have to be approved by The Queen. Other Christmas stamps for different postal rates, and a religious-themed issue, will also be available from 7 November 2017.