Literature Works in partnership with Plymouth City Council is delighted to announce Lola Beal, a student at Plymouth High School for Girls, as this year’s winner of the Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate award.

Lola will receive her award at a ceremony and reading which opens the Plymouth Festival of Words on 3rd May 2017, a four day celebration of words in all their creative forms, drama, song, storytelling and spoken word, open to all members of the public, produced by a partnership between Literature Works, Peninsula Arts at Plymouth University and Plymouth City Council.

The Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate competition, which was launched in February, called for any young person who lives, works or goes to school in Plymouth, aged between 16 and 19 years of age, to submit samples of their creative writing, one piece of which had to be a poem or prose inspired by the theme of Plymouth and its history. All entries received showed very good writing skill and creative talent but one entry in particular stood out.

Lola’s short fiction Sic Parvis Magna and her poem Battleship impressed the judges with the power of her imagination, her originality and her ability to entertain.

On learning of her appointment, Lola Beal said ‘My love of literature can be traced back to my unusual bedtime stories: the decapitation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight lulled me to sleep. Since then, my all-consuming passion for Shakespeare has guided exploration of poetry and prose. The theatre is hugely important to me and it is performance, and writing for performance, that I most enjoy. I am honoured to have been selected for the post of Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate.’

Helen Chaloner, Chief Executive of Literature Works, and Heather Ogburn, Senior Leadership Adviser, Learning and Communities at Plymouth City Council, both welcomed the appointment of Lola Beal to this honorary position and thanked Jess Holloway, Plymouth Young City Laureate 2015/16 for her exceptional contribution to the role over her extended tenure.

Jess Holloway, retiring Plymouth Young City Laureate, said ‘Thank you to everyone at Plymouth City Council and at Literature Works. It has been a literary blast and I feel absolutely privileged that I have spent time as a literary presence within my hometown. Although my time as the laureate has ended, my writing will not!’

Tickets to the evening of spoken word presented by WonderZoo at China House in Plymouth which will feature Lola’s presentation and reading are available on the door at £3.