BUDDING young poets living in Warwickshire can add their names to the county’s rich literary history and follow in the footsteps of the likes of William Shakespeare, George Eliot and Rupert Brooke.
The search is underway for the county’s fourth Young Poet Laureate, who will succeed Rugby School student Emily Stephens in the role in 2018.
The competition is open to anyone aged between 13 and 17 who writes poetry and is happy to perform to an audience. As part of their laureateship, the winner will work with Warwickshire Libraries to promote poetry to people across the county.
Warwickshire’s current Young Poet Laureate Emily said: “Becoming poet laureate opens up an exciting variety of opportunities you never knew existed. If you want to develop confidence, or discover what you are capable of in your writing, it is a role worth experiencing.”
The chosen young laureate will also receive support to develop their own writing and performance skills in the form of mentoring by Emma Purshouse, an acclaimed performance poet, writer and stand-up comedian.
Application close on October 31. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to perform in front of the judges and an audience at a public event on January 20 next year.
The new Young Poet Laureate will officially take on the role from February, with a performance at their local library. The person selected will also receive a certificate and book prizes.
County libraries spokesman Coun Kam Kaur said: “Warwickshire has a flourishing arts and culture scene and previous competitions have seen a lot of high quality applications from young poets from around the county. I am sure this year will be no different and will inspire young people across the county to start writing.”
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/youngpoetlaureate for an application form, which are also available from libraries.