Worcestershire’s Young Poet Laureate competition has opened, inviting young people aged 10 – 18 from across the county to take part.

Faith Taylor, Young Poet Laurate 2021 said: “By taking a risk and entering the competition, I have learned so much about the poetry community, and it has been one of the best experiences of my life.” 

Young people, living or studying in Worcestershire, can enter the competition by submitting one poem on the theme ‘Time’. Submissions will be judged across three age categories: school years 6 – 8, 9 – 11 and 12 – 13. All finalists will be asked to perform at the Young Poet Laureate final at The Hive in Worcester, where a winner will be chosen from each age category. Of these three winners, one young person will be awarded the title of Young Poet Laureate 2023 - 2024.

Worcestershire Young Poet Laureate is run jointly by Severn Arts and Worcestershire Libraries, celebrating the talented voices of young local poets. All shortlisted applicants will be invited to an online performance workshop on 18 March prior to taking part in the final at The Hive.

Previous Young Poet Laureates have had their work published, performed live, been interviewed by local radio and commissioned to write more poetry.

Elaine Knight, Arts Director at Severn Arts said: “We’re excited to see how young people might interpret the theme of time in different ways. Poems could be inspired by a memorable experience, a point in history, what the future looks like to them or times of change. We hope that by offering different ways to submit poetry, we can work closer with schools and give as many young people as possible the chance to take part, be creative and express themselves.” 

Marcus Hart, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Communities said: “Worcestershire’s Young Poet Laureate Competition provides young people with an exciting opportunity to become immersed in poetry reading, writing, and performance.

“Over the years, Worcestershire Libraries' Laureates have championed poetry as an art form. They have encouraged and inspired young people to pursue poetry as a creative activity. 

“We are really looking forward to hearing what our young people will come up with this year on the theme of 'time'.”

To find out more information and apply, visit www.severnarts.org.uk/young-poet-laureate. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 20 February 2023. The final will take place at The Hive on Sunday 19 March 2023.