Young Writer's Festival

Young Writer’s Festival in Richmond opens for 2022 entries

Submissions are now open for the Young Writers Festival, with all young people living or attending schools or clubs in the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames eligible to enter.

Entrants can write about any subject of their choosing in any format but all entries must be typed, be under 500 words or 25 lines for a poem, while extracts from longer pieces will be accepted.

This competition offers children a chance to demonstrate writing skills in any form using their imagination and encouraging kids to read and write. All entries must but the entrants own work.

Administrative officer Linda Hansell at Arts Richmond said: ‘’It gives them a lot more confidence in their writing and to watch their work come alive I wind up in tears every year because it’s quite emotional, it’s a lovely thing.’’

The competition is believed to have been founded in 1960s but originally as a poetry competition by the literature committee at the time, it moved to all written forms 25 years ago.

There are four age groups: years four and under, years five and six, years seven to nine and years ten and over, with prizes for all winning entries.

Of all the entries, 26 are shortlisted across the four categories, with their work published in a book. The pieces are then turned into scripts and performed by young actors in the area.

Additionally, the four winners receive a book token and a laureate place is offered to the older age group to write reviews on local events or shows which is published in Arts Richmond newsletter.

The judges are volunteers that change each year due to the sheer volume of entries and typically they are degree or a level teachers and writers.

This competition is run by Arts Richmond an independent charity and voluntary organisation which was established in 1966 to support arts and culture in the Richmond Borough.

With over 100 affiliated societies, Arts Richmond provides a wide variety of services and events aimed to inspire local arts and cultural activity.

An annual membership is £20 or £10 for a six month taster, with affiliate subscription fees found online.

Arts Richmond objectives are to: promote art activities, stimulate participation in cultural activities, encouragement of accessibility to events, and encouragement of diversity and participation both by performers and audiences.

Hansell said: ‘’It’s encouraging people from all walks of life to engage with the arts.

‘’It does so much good for the world, people having a purpose in something they love to do, and to give them a purpose to do it.’’

Their monthly newsletter, partly funded by the council, is distributed to Arts Richmond members and to the public via the Public Library Network contains information about local events.

Arts Richmond aims to understand the importance of wellbeing and the impact their work has specifically on the older generations within the community.

Hansell said: ‘’The arts was the first thing to go in the pandemic, but it’s the arts that kept people going and it’s been more important since the pandemic of how much we rely on it.’’

Entries for the Young Writers Festival close on December 2. Click here for more information.

Featured Image Credit: Linda Hansell, Administrative Officer at Arts Richmond

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