Holly Peters was announced as the winner of the Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate award for 2019.
The 19-year-old, a second-year student studying English Literature with Publishing, was presented with her first commission as Young City Laureate and received her prize at a reception given by the Lord Mayor, Cllr Richard Ball, on 13 November.
The Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate competition is run in partnership with Literature Works and Plymouth City Council. It is open for any young person between 14 and 19 who lives, works or goes to school or college in Plymouth.
They had to submit samples of their creative writing, one piece of which had to be a poem or prose inspired by the theme of Plymouth and its history.
Helen Chaloner, chief executive of Literature Works, said: “All the entries we received showed very good writing skill and creative talent but one entry in particular stood out. Holly’s poetry impressed the judges with the power of her imagination, use of language and originality.”
Holly said: “To be the Young Laureate and represent a city that I have loved all of my life is pretty snazzy. I’m honoured to have been chosen especially in such an exciting year for Plymouth, and I can’t wait to be able to share my writing with as many people as possible.”
Outgoing Young City Laureate, Olivia Templeton, said: “My time as the Laureate has been a better opportunity than I could have hoped for. Meeting new people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise and celebrating such important events have made the past year so incredible.”
The Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate winner receives a cash prize of £100 and is invited to write and perform some of their pieces in front of different audiences at a series of exciting public events during the year. They also benefit from a tailored cultural mentoring programme provided by the City Council in partnership with Literature Works and the University of Plymouth.
Cllr Jon Taylor, Plymouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Transformation, added: “It’s an exciting time for Plymouth, especially with the Mayflower 400 celebrations just around the corner, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for one talented young poet to make their mark in this important year. I’d like to congratulate Holly on being crowned the Mayflower 400 Plymouth Young City Laureate.”
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