Word Up! The competition to find Worcestershire's next Young Poet Laureate gets underway this week (Thursday October 4).
The launch coincides with National Poetry Day, a national celebration day to enjoy, discover and share all things poetry.
Young people wishing to enter the competition are asked to send in two poems; one on the subject identified for National Poetry Day, which this year is 'Change,' and another on a subject of their choice. Application forms can be downloaded from the Word Up! webpage www.worcestershire.gov.uk/wordup. The closing date for entries is December 31 and the winner will be chosen at a live final on January 20th at The Hive in Worcester.
To be eligible young people need to be aged between 13 and 19 and live in Worcestershire, or attend a school, college, university or youth club in the county. The winner is awarded a commission of £150 to write and perform poems throughout the year.
CJ Evans, 13, a student from Woodrush High in Wythall, saw off strong competition from the other 10 finalists, to take the 2018 title with her poems 'NATO' and 'Prisoner: DF8421'.
Cllr Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member for Communities, Worcestershire County Council said: "Becoming Young Poet Laureate of Worcestershire offers an incredible experience. You will be commissioned to write for local campaigns or performing around the county and have a chance to share your work and develop as a poet. The Word Up! competition is open to anyone from any background and designed to encourage all young people to take part."
Natalie McVey, Service Lead for Young People added: "Writing poetry is a great way to express yourself and have fun with language. Maybe you've been writing lines secretly in your bedroom or been inspired by clips of spoken word online. If this sounds like you, don't wait to apply because it’s too good an opportunity to miss.
"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 and you never know where it will lead once you log onto www.worcestershire.gov.uk/wordup."
For inspiration read CJ's winning poems www.worcestershire.gov.uk/wordup.
Entries can be submitted from October 4th until the deadline of midnight on Sunday, December 31st.
For more information please contact Natalie McVey, from the County Council's Libraries and Learning Service, on 07876 144905.