Teenager singer songwriter Emily McGrory says she values the experience she gained by taking part in the national Open Mic UK competition.

The 17-year-old from Luckington got through to the regional finals at St George’s in Bristol on Sunday and says that, although she didn’t make it into the national finals, she found her time in the spotlight a real confidence booster.

“I gained loads of confidence and it was an amazing experience,” she said.

“I met some wonderful people too.”

She hopes to follow in the footsteps of one of her heroines, singer Birdy, who found fame and chart success after winning the competition in 2008.

Emily, who has just begun a music tech course at City of Bath College, said: “I always sign up for auditions, but never actually go to them. I heard about Open Mic UK because of Birdy. She got recognised from this competition. I thought it was a really good idea to get some recognition for my own music, and hopefully maybe get something from it.

“I entered it on the off chance that my parents would take me and I might get through. “I told my parents and they were completely willing to take me, which I’m so grateful for. “I thought really hard about what song to sing, I wanted to be original but I wanted to seem confident even if I wasn't. I chose to sing ‘Skin Deep’, a song I wrote myself.”

Emily is singing at Malmesbury Victoria Football Club on October 27; and at Malmesbury Abbey Skate early next year.

For details or to listen to her songs, see www.facebook.com/emily mcgrorymusic