The hunt is on to find the next budding wordsmith who's passionate about poetry and writing to become the Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate.

The competition is organised by Plymouth City Council in partnership with the South West literature development agency Literature Works, who are trying to find aspiring new writers in the city between the ages of 14 and 19 to apply for the honorary post.

18 year old Lola Beal is the current holder of the Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate title, she 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.”

The role of Plymouth Young City Laureate is important, as the winner will be asked to create work to celebrate special events or occasions in the city as well as being expected to perform at events in libraries, schools and festivals.

Councillor Jon Taylor the Cabinet Member responsible for Education said: “This is a really great opportunity for someone to make their voice heard and who knows where it could take their future career! I know the city has lots of talented young people and I hope this encourages more of them to get writing.”

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.”

There is a cash prize of £100 and 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.

  • You must be aged between 14 and 19
  • You must live, work or go to school or college in Plymouth
  • 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 5th October 2018.

The winning entry will be chosen by a panel of judges from Plymouth City Council, Plymouth University, Literature Works and a well-known author.

The Young City Laureate 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, C/O Peninsula Arts Office, 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.