Are you a Hampshire or Dorset-based poet aged between 16-25, and looking to develop your writing in 2021? Poetry Ambassadors, a new scheme run by Winchester Poetry Festival, ArtfulScribe, and the University of Southampton, is offering free year-long mentoring to three young poets next year, and would like to hear from you.

How does the scheme work?

Poetry Ambassadors will offer one-to-one sessions and support and advice to three young poets from the Hampshire and Dorset region over the next year. You will be matched to established and professional writers well-placed to give you support, encouragement and feedback.

Mentoring will begin in January 2021 and take place online, with a mixture of one-to-one meetings and larger group sessions. You will work towards creating a group anthology to present at Winchester Poetry Festival in 2021, and be invited to contribute to a one-day mentoring symposium in October 2021 held in Southampton.

Poetry Ambassadors will encourage you to develop the ambition, scope and confidence of your poetry, reflecting both on your own process of writing and the experience of being mentored.

Am I eligible?

You must be aged 16-25 and resident in Hampshire or Dorset at the time of application. The scheme is open to published and unpublished poets, and has been established to support a wide range of developing writers from Hampshire and Dorset.

How do I apply?

​1. Submit TWO complete poems with your application, and ONE poem you have completed and redrafted but you think needs further redrafting.

2. Write up to 1000 words explaining why you would benefit from this opportunity. You can use the following questions to help organise your response:

How would you describe your writing experience to date? What poets or spoken word artists have inspired and engaged you? How might mentoring help you develop your poetry? What would you like to improve about the draft poem you have submitted? What previous experience have you had of being mentored, or mentoring others, in any area?

All applications should be emailed to and must be received by Friday December 11th at 4pm. Please include contact details with your submission, including email and postal address.

How will the writers be chosen?

​The selection panel will include representatives from Artful Scribe, Winchester Poetry Festival, and the University of Southampton’s English department. The panel will make their selection based on the quality of your poetry submission, evidence of your commitment to the mentoring process, and the likelihood of Poetry Ambassadors to progress your writing. You will be informed of panel decisions by Monday December 21st.