Worcestershire’s poetry competition to find our next Young Poet Laureate is back for 2020 and gets underway this week (Monday 13 January).                   

The competition which aims to inspire a new generation to enjoy, discover and share all things poetry, is open for entries this week after a short break. 

New for 2020, Worcestershire’s Young Poet Laureate competition now accepts entries from younger people aged 8 and up to 18.  As well as moving the competition to spring, we have added three age categories, 8-11, 12-15 and 16-18. All entrants are asked to send in two poems; one on the subject of 'Identity,' and another on a subject of their choice. There will be a winner from each age category plus an overall winner crowned Worcestershire’s Young Poet Laureate. 

The competition is being run jointly by Worcestershire County Council’s libraries service and Severn Arts. As in previous years there will be a series of workshops, some in schools and some in libraries. The winner will be chosen at a live final, on 29 March at The Hive in Worcester. On the day of the final there will be performance coaching with the host, well- known poet, Spoz. 

To enter, application forms can be downloaded www.worcestershire.gov.uk/youngpoet. The closing date for entries is 8 March. To be eligible young people need to be aged between 8 and 18 and live in Worcestershire, or attend a school, college or youth club in the county.   

Cllr Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member for Communities, Worcestershire County Council said: "Our successful poetry competition is back for 2020 with a few changes. It’s now open to younger people aged 8 up to 18 and there will be a winner in three age groups, plus an overall winner. We often find young people discover poetry to express themselves in a new and creative way. As well as developing a new art form, taking part in our competition offers a way to connect with more young people and being selected for the live final is a great achievement and the competition offers an incredible experience. 

"It doesn't have to be daunting or difficult. It's about rhythm, rhymes and creativity. To enter this competition, it doesn't matter if you haven't written much before, we still want to hear from you. You never know where it will lead once you log onto www.worcestershire.gov.uk/youngpoet." 

Elaine Knight, Service Lead for Young People added:"We really hope that by opening up the competition to a wider age group and by offering different ways to submit poems more young people will get involved. It’s really important to us that as many young people as possible know about opportunities such as this and are encouraged to take part. We will certainly be working hard with schools, libraries and community groups to spread the word and hope that others connected to young people will do the same.” 

Entries can be submitted from 13 January until the deadline of midnight on Sunday, 8 March 2020.  

For more information please contact Natalie McVey, from Worcestershire County Council's Libraries Service on 07876 144905.