The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism

Despite some negative comments, I'm so glad that people have been enjoying my piece for the Peterborough Telegraph online

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The Independent Online

When I first thought about writing my review of Peterborough's Pizza Express I never thought it would go anywhere. How wrong was I? I sent it to my journalism tutor just to give it a read over and he said there was the opportunity to send it to the Peterborough Telegraph.

I have always read the Peterborough Telegraph and to have something published on their website was a great opportunity. After not hearing anything about it for a while I pushed it to the back of my mind. Then on a normal Thursday night I was checking their website and saw my article.

I was so happy and I couldn’t wait to tell people about it. After reading through it, I saw that there had been a couple of comments made so I thought I’d have a read. Now I wish I hadn't... The comments were very harsh and basically slating what was in the review and the fact that I was young, as they had also found my blog.

I felt like they were judging everything I’d ever written, it was awful! I know working in journalism, you need to be able to accept criticism. However, as a young person it is hard to take. After a while I managed to shrug off the comments and just enjoy the fact that I’d had something published.

A normal day approached and as a student I went to college without a care in the world. It was then I realised I had a number of emails about new followers on Twitter. Before I had the chance to open them I was informed by my tutor that it had gone crazy on Twitter, and when I had a look there was a hash tag — #pizzaexpressreview!

Suddenly journalists, freelancers and critics were following me and were surprisingly giving me feedback. I was instantly overwhelmed by the number of people tweeting about it saying that they were loving it and that it was a great piece of writing for a 17-year-old. I even had emails from newspapers saying they’d like to do an interview with me about how it’s unfolded and what my reaction was.

Within the space of two hours I had complimentary comments telling me how sweet the article was and how great it was — it definitely made me forget about the negative ones at the start. Sitting here now I’m thinking about the day my tutor said “I’ll send it to the Peterborough Telegraph and see what they say.” Without help from him and the college this would have never happened and I am so grateful for all they’ve done.

Holly Aston is a student at Peterborough Regional College, studying L3 BTEC in Print-based Media.

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