28 February 2012

Young Poet Laureate competition winner announced!

Worcestershire County Council has announced the winner of this year's coveted Word Up! competition – the search to find the county's Young Poet Laureate.

Entrants were asked to write one poem on the subject of Games and another on any other topic. Well over 50 entries were received by the judges. The short listing process was described as being 'even tougher than last year.'

The winner, Rowan Standish–Hayes, aged 17The winner, Rowan Standish–Hayes, aged 17,  attends The Chase School in Malvern. His performance of poems  'The Best Kind of Game' and  ' A Street Called Worry' impressed the judges in style and content. They also felt that Rowan would be a superb role model for other young people in the county.   

The runner up is Heather Still, aged 18, a student at the University of Worcester with poems, 'I'm Bloody Wilson Pickett!', and 'The Lie of Youth'. 

Coming third, Georgia Chambers, aged 14 who attends South Bromsgrove School with  poems, 'Benchball' and 'Apathetic Attitudes'.

Highly Commended is Beth Edwards, aged 17 who attends Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College, Worcester with 'The Haunted House' and '4:37 a.m'.

The prestigious grand final event took place at Number 8 Theatre in Pershore on the evening of Friday 27 January, where the fourteen finalists performed their poetry in front of a live audience and a panel of judges.

The judging panel, made up of Ruth Foster, Steve Wilson and Julie Andrews from the County Council and professional poet Matt Windle had the unenviable task of deciding who had the unique talent for poetry which embraces the role of Worcestershire's Young Poet Laureate.

Natalie McVey, Libraries and Learning's Service Development Co-ordinator for Young People 13-19  said: "Once again we received an enormous range of entries which explored all sorts of styles, themes and topics.  The judging process has been very tough but reading them all has been a joy.

"The success of this competition has once again proved that this is a great way to encourage young people to explore their local library, get creative, improve their writing and hopefully, inspire others."

As well as taking the prestigious title of Worcestershire's Young Poet Laureate 2012, the winner will have their own poetry mentor for the year to support them through their role. Duties throughout the year will include acting as a poetry champion to encourage and inspire others to enjoy poems, writing poems to celebrate special events in Worcestershire and performing at literary events.