The winners of the 2020 Young Norfolk Writing Competition and the identity of the county’s fourth Young Laureate have been revealed.
The annual contest received a record number of entries this year, with over 500 young people taking part.
Writers were asked to submit stories, lyrics, narrative for games, poems, spoken word, scripts, podcasts, plays, articles, journalism, or essays of up to one side of A4 or 40 lines, or graphic stories of up to four sides of A4.
Judges whittled the entries down to seven winners:
• 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
• Ella Cunningham, 13, Norwich High School for Girls
• Mathilda Peak, 13, Litcham Secondary School
• Ryan Taffee-Fowle, 18, Wymondham College
A further 12 young writers received commendations.
Three of the winners – Mathilda Armiger, Kasey Challenger and Ryan Taffee-Fowle – have been jointly awarded the title of Young Norfolk Laureate, awarded as a split title for the first time in its four years.
Over the next 12 months they will work as a collective, receiving creative and professional development opportunities from the National Centre for Writing and working towards an original collaboration to be performed next year.
An online showcase event to celebrate the competition and new laureates will be streamed on YouTube Live at 6pm tonight, Friday, July 3, kicking off a long weekend of events for the Young Norfolk Arts Festival that includes dance, drama, writing, music, and video workshops.
The competition was jointly run by the National Centre for Writing and Young Norfolk Arts.
The Centre’s learning and participation programme manager Hannah Garrard 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.
“Giving young people a platform to express themselves is what the competition is all about and it’s been an honour to read their work this year.”