News and stories New Young Poet Laureate for Worcestershire 15-year-old Faith Taylor from Bromsgrove has been crowned Worcestershire’s Young Poet Laureate 2021. Alana Booth is the winner of the 8-11 age group and Abbie-Lou Cox won the 16-18 age group. Faith was one of 12 young poets who took part in the competition final this weekend which was judged online by the outgoing Young Poet Laureate Ellie Dart, and professional poets Kevin Brooke and Justin Coe. This year’s competition saw over 100 entries with each applicant submitting two poems: one based on this year’s theme ‘adventure’ and a second about anything at all. On the day of the competition final the 12 finalists were given a morning coaching session with tips on how to perform online before taking centre stage and performing their poems to the panel of judges in the afternoon. Faith Taylor said: “It’s been an incredible experience and I am so pleased to have won the competition. All of the finalists were amazing, and I am looking forward to the opportunities over the next year. Thank you, Severn Arts and Worcestershire County Council and all those involved!” Ellie Dart, Young Poet Laureate 2020 said: “All the finalists were incredible writers, so it is really exciting to know that Worcestershire has so many talented young poets. Alana, Abbie and Faith wrote poetry that was both passionate and moving. It captures your attention. I cannot wait to see what they write next.” Elaine Knight, Arts Director Severn Arts said: “It was very inspiring to listen to so many creative young people. This year’s competition was exceptionally high quality and all the finalists would have made worthy winners. Faith has been inspired by Ellie over the past year so it was a pleasure to see how one Young Poet Laureate has impacted on other young people in the county, inspiring them to take part in the event.” Hannah Perrott, Assistant Director for Communities, added: “The Young Poet Laureate event is a wonderful annual tradition that celebrates the talent of budding young poets across our county. Well done to everyone who took part and huge congratulations to our overall winner Faith, and group winners Alana and Abbie-Lou. I look forward to seeing more of their work in the forthcoming year. I want to add my thanks to Ellie Dart who steps aside after inspiring so many of us this year with her outstanding poetry contributions.” As the winner of the Young Poet Laureate title Faith will be invited to take part in commissioning opportunities, mentoring and creative residencies and to perform and talk about her work. Faith will also have her winning poems published online and in print. The age group finalists Alana and Abbie-Lou will each receive a certificate, £25 voucher and have one of their poems published online and in print. Worcestershire’s Young Poet Laureate competition is jointly run by Worcestershire County Council and Severn Arts. Find out more about the competition and read this year’s winning poems.