Winners announced for Norfolk’s largest creative writing competition for young people

The winners of the 2020 Young Norfolk Writing Competition – Norfolk’s largest annual creative writing competition for young people aged 11 – 18 – have been announced alongside the identity of the fourth Young Norfolk Laureate.

The annual competition, which celebrates creative writing in all its forms, is a partnership between the National Centre for Writing (NCW) and Young Norfolk Arts (YNA). It received a record number of entries in 2020 with over 500 young people in the region submitting their freshest, boldest work.

Hannah Garrard, Learning and Participation Programme Manager, 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. Giving young people a platform to express themselves is what the YNWC is all about and it's 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 Yong Norfolk Writing Competition 2020 (in alphabetical order) are:
• 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 commendation from the judges.

The competition is supported by Norfolk County Council and Arts Council England and focuses on engaging young people to become more involved with the arts while celebrating the writing talent in the region. Entries could take the form of stories, lyrics, narrative for games, graphic stories, poems, spoken word, scripts, podcasts, plays, articles, journalism or essays.

Robert Rickard, 14 – 19 Advisor for NCC, said:
‘The competition is a great collaborative initiative that we are delighted to support each year. Across the UK, writing talent remains hidden among many thousands of young people: we are proud to help many of our young writers express and develop their ability.’

For the first time, the 2020 Young Norfolk Laureateship will be awarded to three young people: Mathilda Armiger, Kasey Challenger and Ryan Taffee-Fowle. Over the next 12 months they 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 Taffee-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.

Watch the Young Norfolk Writing Competition Showcase
In celebration of the 2020 Young Norfolk Writing Competition and the breadth of young creative talent developing across the county, a special showcase event will be hosted by Young Norfolk Arts Festival this evening, 6pm GMT, over on YouTube Live.

The event has been organised by NCW’s Lit From the Inside team of aspiring young arts professionals and will feature readings from winning and highly commended writers and a performance from local musician Jess Morgan. Everyone is invited to tune in – no booking required. Visit the YNAF YouTube channel from 6pm: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKclyoImEJwNGoNFB3YNELQ/live

For further information on the Young Norfolk Writing Competition, visit nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/ynwc/

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