Applications are open to find Worcestershire’s next Young Poet Laureate and it could be you!

Worcestershire Libraries, Severn Arts and Public Health Worcestershire, are on the lookout for young writers, aged 10 to 18, who are ready to unleash their creativity and become the voice of our vibrant county.

Amelie Simon, is the current Young Poet Laurate 2023 and said that the competition has helped her confidence grow: I never could have dreamt of getting up on a stage to read my own poetry, but I’ve discovered that the stage offers me a place to be authentically me and to have a great time doing it! I’ve met some of the most incredible people and found so much comfort in the art form.”

Young people, living or studying in Worcestershire, can enter the competition by submitting one poem on the theme of ‘Change’. 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 2024.

Worcestershire Young Poet Laureate is run jointly by Worcestershire Libraries and Severn Arts and funded by Public Health Worcestershire, celebrating the talented voices of young local poets. Previous Young Poet Laureates have had their work published, performed live, been interviewed by local radio and commissioned to write more poetry.  

Jen, Community Producer at Severn Arts said:This year we really want to celebrate poetry in all its forms and would love to hear from songwriters, rappers and spoken word artists as well as poetry writers. The competition is open to anyone within the school years 6-13 and entries can be a written piece, an audio recording or video, whichever is preferred. We really hope this year’s theme will inspire lots of young people to share what they have created with us through the competition.”  

Dr Lisa McNally, Director of Public Health for Worcestershire County Council,  said: Expressing yourself through art, like poetry, can really boost people’s well-being. The Young Poet Laureate competition is a great opportunity for young people to unleash their creativity, build their confidence, and make new friendships.

Councillor Marcus Hart, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Communities at Worcestershire County Council added: “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, Laureates have championed poetry as an art form and embraced the variety of projects given to them. We are really looking forward to hearing what our young people will come up with this year on the theme of 'Change'.” 

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 1 April 2024.
The final will take place at The Hive on Sunday 28 April 2024.

Click here for more information about how to apply.