This year’s competition to find the new Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate is open to all aspiring young writers aged between 14 and 19 years of age who live, work or go to school in Plymouth.

Winning the competition offers a fantastic opportunity to the recipient who will be invited to create work to celebrate special events or occasions in the city as well as performances at events in libraries, schools and festivals. There is a cash prize of £100 to the successful entrant. This is otherwise an honorary post and held for one year. The winner secures city-wide recognition for their writing and performance skills and it could be the first step towards a successful career in the arts.

The competition is organised by Plymouth City Council in partnership with South West literature development agency Literature Works.

Miss Lola Beal, the current holder of the Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate title, said ‘The sea, the moor, the history: Plymouth lends itself to poetry. Being Young City Laureate is a wonderful opportunity to explore the workings of this city, and turn it into rhyme.’

Helen Chaloner, CEO of Literature Works, said ‘We are proud to partner with the Council once more this year to discover and help mentor the new young writing talent that we know is flourishing in this great city’.

Kathryn Walker, Mayflower Education Project Officer, Plymouth City Council, said ‘The Young City Laureate provides the perfect springboard for our young writers to bring their writing ability to public attention, proving that Plymouth is a hub of creativity and inspiring penmanship.’

  • The competition is free to enter
  • To enter the competition you need to submit two samples of your creative writing. Your entry can be prose or poetry. One example should be an original composition inspired by the theme of ‘Plymouth’; your other example – again poetry or prose – should be inspired by the theme of ‘finding your identity’.
  • We would like at least one of your two samples to be in the form of poetry. Prose should be no more than 2000 words, poetry no more than one page of A4.

Closing date for entries is Friday 21 September 2018.

The winner will be announced in October 2018 during a special celebration as part of the Plymouth Literary Festival at Plymouth’s Athenaeum.

Entries may be submitted by post or email to Literature Works, Peninsula Arts, Roland Levinsky Building, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA or email to

Please include Mayflower 400 Young City Laureate 2018 in your subject line. Make sure your entry includes your name, address and mobile phone number.