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Winners announced for Norfolk’s largest writing competition for young creatives

PUBLISHED: 10:22 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:58 07 July 2020

The Young Norfolk Writing Competition received a record number of entries in 2020    Picture: National Centre for Writing/Hannah Hutchins

The Young Norfolk Writing Competition received a record number of entries in 2020 Picture: National Centre for Writing/Hannah Hutchins

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The Young Norfolk Writing Competition Showcase will be broadcast tonight Friday July 3 at 6pm GMT on YouTube.

A special showcase event hosted by Young Norfolk Arts Festival will be broadcast this evening, 6pm BST Friday July 3 on YouTube Live      Picture: Young Norfolk ArtsA special showcase event hosted by Young Norfolk Arts Festival will be broadcast this evening, 6pm BST Friday July 3 on YouTube Live Picture: Young Norfolk Arts

The winners of this year’s Young Norfolk Writing Competition have been announced and a special showcase event will be broadcast this evening celebrating the creative talent of young people in the region.

Norfolk’s largest annual creative writing competition for young people received a record number of entries in 2020 with over 500 submissions from writers aged 11–18. Entries could take the form of stories, lyrics, spoken word, scripts, poems, podcasts, plays, narratives for games, graphic stories, articles, journalism or essays.

The competition is organised by the National Centre for Writing (NCW) and Young Norfolk Arts Trust (YNA) and is supported by Norfolk County Council and Arts Council England.

Hannah Garrard, learning and participation programme manager at NCW, said: “The fact that young people in Norfolk have been writing so creatively and eloquently throughout these difficult past months is a testament to their strength of character and resilience. Never has access to writing, reading and books felt more important for this generation of creatives.

Kasey Challenger, 18, who studies at Dereham Sixth Form College, is one of three Young Norfolk Laureates   Picture: Kasey Challenger/National Centre for WritingKasey Challenger, 18, who studies at Dereham Sixth Form College, is one of three Young Norfolk Laureates Picture: Kasey Challenger/National Centre for Writing

“Giving young people a platform to express themselves is what the Young Norfolk Writing Competition is all about and it has been an honour to read their work this year.”

Lucy Farrant, director of the Young Norfolk Arts Trust, said: “It is a great honour to partner with NCW on delivering the competition and hosting the awards event. It is always one of my favourite parts of every Young Norfolk Arts Festival as it is a joy to celebrate the talent of all of our young writers and for them to inspire their peers and future generations.”

The winners of the Young Norfolk Writing Competition 2020 (in alphabetical order) are:

Mathilda Armiger, 18, from Paston College is one of three Young Norfolk Laureates    Picture: Mathilda Armiger/National Centre for WritingMathilda Armiger, 18, from Paston College is one of three Young Norfolk Laureates Picture: Mathilda Armiger/National Centre for Writing

•Mathilda Armiger, 18, Paston College

•Florence Bullion, 14, City of Norwich School

•Kasey Challenger, 18, Dereham Sixth Form College

•Jessica Creedon, 17, Notre Dame Sixth Form

‘Poetry gave me an effective outlet,' said Ryan Taaffee-Fowle, 18, one of this year’s Young Norfolk Laureates Picture: Ryan Taaffee-Fowle/National Centre for Writing‘Poetry gave me an effective outlet,' said Ryan Taaffee-Fowle, 18, one of this year’s Young Norfolk Laureates Picture: Ryan Taaffee-Fowle/National Centre for Writing

•Ella Cunningham, 13, Norwich High School for Girls

•Mathilda Peak, 13, Litcham Secondary School

•Ryan Taaffe-Fowle, 18, Wymondham College

A further 12 young writers received commendation from the judges.

The identity of the Young Norfolk Laureate was also announced. For the first time, the 2020 Young Norfolk Laureateship will be awarded to three young people: Mathilda Armiger, Kasey Challenger and Ryan Taaffe-Fowle.

Over the next 12 months, Mathilda, Kasey and Ryan will work as a collective, receiving creative and professional development opportunities from NCW and working towards an original collaboration to be performed next year.

Ryan Taaffe-Fowle said: “I am very grateful for this opportunity. Growing up I always struggled with English but still enjoyed it, so finding poetry gave me an effective outlet that wasn’t constrained by any set rules.

“This laureateship will give me many opportunities but perhaps the most exciting is the platform to show other young people how powerful their words can be.”

Last year’s laureate, Colette Maxwell-Preston, 13, showed great commitment to the programme and dedicated much of her writing to raising awareness of climate change.

A special showcase event hosted by Young Norfolk Arts Festival will be broadcast this evening, 6pm BST Friday July 3 on YouTube Live celebrating the breadth of young creative talent developing across the county.

The event is organised by the National Centre for Writing’s Lit From the Inside team, a group of aspiring young arts professionals, and will feature readings and a performance from local musician Jess Morgan.

Visit the YNA YouTube channel from 6pm here.

For further information on the Young Norfolk Writing Competition, please click here.


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