Enter Plymouth 1620 shanty writing competition for Mayflower 400

Feb 10, 2021

Plymouth Archaeology Society is running an exciting competition for all those who want to try their skills at writing a sea shanty.

The competition is part of the project Plymouth 1620: the place, the people, the evidence, funded by HLF and supported by Mayflower 400.

Organisers are looking for entries that represent something that was happening in your local area of Plymouth at the time the Mayflower set sail.

Entries could relate to boat builders, fish gutters, fish mongers, buccaneering and more.

Examples of shanties are available on the Plymouth 1620 Facebook page here and elsewhere online for inspiration.

How to enter

The shanty MUST resemble a traditional shanty. Most shanties come in 4/4 time, an easy beat to keep track of, or a more typically Irish-Scottish folk song time of 6/8.

It should be possible to sing it a cappella (without instrumental accompaniment).

Most shanties are normally regarded as sea shanties but yours does not have to be, as long as it relates to 1620 and your area of Plymouth.

To have a chance of winning a voucher and to have your shanty performed online, it must:

  • be about your area of Plymouth
  • relate to 1620
  • contain original words to original music
  • be no more than two minutes long

The prizes available are one £200 voucher for new words to new music, and two £100 vouchers for runners-up for new words to new music.

The organisers plan to arrange for all entries that meet the criteria to be shared or performed online. Entry forms are available by emailing plymouth1620ppe@gmail.com

To enter, please complete an entry form together with your shanty as an MP4 file and email it to plymouth1620ppe@gmail.com by midnight on 12 March.

A judging panel chosen by Plymouth Archaeology Society will select the winners and announce by Friday, 26 March.

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