This year’s winner of the Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate award has been announced as 19 year old Olivia Templeton.
Olivia is currently studying English and Creative Writing at Plymouth University reading English and will receive her award at a special event to celebrate high achieving students on 31st October.
The Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate competition is run in partnership with Literature Works and Plymouth City Council. It is open for any young person between 14 and 19 who lives, works or goes to school or college in Plymouth.
They had 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.
Helen Chaloner, Chief Executive of Literature Works said: “All the entries we received showed very good writing skill and creative talent but one entry in particular stood out. Olivia’s poetry impressed the judges with the power of her imagination, use of language and originality.”
Olivia said: “It has taken hard work and perseverance [I have entered in previous years] but in the end it paid off and I’m ecstatic. I am looking forward to representing Plymouth’s young literary community. I can’t wait to get started.”
Outgoing Young City Laureate, Lola Beal, said: “My tenure as Young City Laureate has been rewarding and a real honour, and I’m so excited to see what the next Young Laureate will take from this vibrant city.”
The Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate winner receives a cash prize of £100 and is invited to write and perform some of their pieces in front of different audiences at a series of exciting public events during the year. They also benefit from a tailored cultural mentoring programme provided by the City Council in partnership with Literature Works and the University of Plymouth.
Councillor Jon Taylor the Cabinet Member responsible for Education said: “I’d like to congratulate Olivia I know she’s worked really hard so she thoroughly deserves to be crowned winner. I’d also like to wish her every success for the future.”