Wherefore Art Thou Young City Laureate?
The hunt is on for a young person who's passionate about poetry and writing to become Plymouth's young city laureate.
Plymouth City Council and Literature Works are calling out for wonderful wordsmiths between the ages of 16 and 19 to apply for the honorary post. This is the second year the talent-scouting competition has taken place, following its successful launch last year when Plymouth became the first city in the South West to have a young city laureate.
Councillor Nicky Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "This is about getting excited about what you can do with words, having a voice and having fun. This is an incredible opportunity for someone and who knows where it could lead. I hope it inspires lots of young people to write-in and we find some incredible new talent."
The post is open to someone who relishes writing – be it verse, short stories or any kind of creative writing, and who would love to perform it to audiences.
It is not for shrinking violets as the young city laureate will be expected to encourage and inspire other young people to pick up their pens and microphones. They will be called upon to celebrate special events in the city, as well as perform in libraries, schools, festivals and other community events.
Tracy Guiry, Director of Literature Works, the South West literary development charity, said: "Plymouth was the first city in the region to embrace our young city laureate scheme and we're really excited about the talent we could discover in the competition's second year.
"For anyone looking to make a career in writing this is an incredible start – as well as performance opportunities, there will be a mentoring programme provided by the Council, Literature Works, Plymouth University and other arts organisations."
Plymouth's first young laureate, Ailie Kerr, has written for Thanksgiving, the Lord Mayor's carol services, the city Christmas celebrations, Holocaust memorial week and has created a special story for Plymouth History month, read on Lord Mayor's Day. Ailie is, currently, enjoying writing a piece for Armed Forces Day.
Ailie said: "I have really enjoyed my year as Young City Laureate. It's been a brilliant opportunity to get criticism on my work and meet authors and I am very glad I applied last August!"
To apply, you need to be aged between 16 and 19 and live, work or go to school or college in Plymouth. You will need to submit two samples of your writing - one original poem, piece of creative writing or spoken word piece inspired by 'Plymouth' and one other piece of creative writing.
The closing date for entries is Friday 20 September and the winner will be chosen by a panel of judges from Plymouth City Council, Literature Works, Plymouth University and a well-known author.
Plymouth's second young city laureate will be announced at a launch party for Plymouth's International Book Festival on 30 October 2013.
Entries may be submitted by post or email and recordings (audio or video) will also need a copy of the text included. Post or deliver your entries to: Literature Works, c/o Peninsula Arts, Rowland Levinsky Building, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Make the subject title of the email 'Plymouth Young City Laureate 2013'.