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30th Jun, 2022

Young poets and designers offered the chance to shine by Stratford Literary Festival

Ian Hughes 8th Jan, 2020

BUDDING young poets and designers are being offered the chance to shine by Stratford Literary Festival.

Organisers have launched the annual national competition to find poems to be published in the Festival Collection and for artwork to grace the cover.

Anyone aged five to 21 years with ambitions to write a poem and have it published has until February 21 to submit a poem of no more than 600 words on any theme.

Poem entries will be judged in one of three age categories – five to ten, 11 to 16 and 17 to 21 – and the winner from each category will receive a cash prize of £100, £200 and £300 respectively.

The judges include the acclaimed children’s poet James Carter, whose books include The Big Beyond and Once Upon a Star. The collection of winners and those most highly commended will be published in the spring.

And young designers design are invited to create a cover for the collection. The winner will see their design featured as the cover to the collection and will also receive £300. Previous cover design winners have gone on to careers in book design.

Both competitions aim to recognise and encourage young creative talent. They mark the legacy of late poet and publisher Felix Dennis, who lived at Dorsington near Stratford.

Festival director Annie Ashworth said: “We are really excited to be running the competitions again and I believe we are the only festival offering the opportunity for young people to have their work published in this way.

“We work hard to engage young readers and writers in many ways, and we are really looking forward to seeing how creative everyone can be.”

The deadline for poems is February 21, and for the book cover February 28.

Visit for full details.

* A POP-UP bookshop will allow local authors to showcase their work at Stratford Literary Festival.

The books will be given a space in the festival’s hub marquee on Bridgefoot Lawn near the Crowne Plaza hotel at the festival running from May 9 to 17.

The opportunity is open to all authors whether their work is traditionally or self-published and will be available for readers to buy.

Email for more details.

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