Could you be Warwickshire’s next Young Poet Laureate?

Warwickshire Library Service are delighted to announce that the competition to become Warwickshire’s fourth Young Poet Laureate is now open.

Young poets living in Warwickshire have the opportunity to add their name to the county’s rich literary history, following in the footsteps of local renowned poets such as William Shakespeare, George Eliot and Rupert Brooke.

The search is now on for the county’s fourth Young Poet Laureate, who will succeed Rugby School student Emily Stephens in the role in 2018.

The competition is open to anyone aged between 13 and 17 who writes poetry and is happy to perform their poetry to an audience. As part of their laureateship, the winner will work with Warwickshire Libraries to promote poetry to people across the county.

Warwickshire’s current Young Poet Laureate Emily says “Becoming poet laureate opens up an exciting variety of opportunities you never knew existed. If you want to develop confidence, or discover what you are capable of in your writing, it is a role worth experiencing.’

Warwickshire’s fourth Young Poet Laureate will also receive support to develop his/her own writing and performance skills in the form of mentoring by Emma Purshouse, an acclaimed performance poet, writer, and stand-up comedienne

Applications are now welcome before the deadline of 5pm on Tuesday 31st October 2017. The judges will then get to work before announcing the shortlist on Friday 1st December 2017. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to perform in front of the judges and an audience at a public event on Saturday 20th January 2018.

The new Young Poet Laureate will officially start his/her position from February 2018, with a performance at their local library. The person selected will also receive a certificate and book prizes.

Cllr Kam Kaur, Portfolio Holder for Customers at Warwickshire County Council, said:

“Warwickshire has a flourishing arts and culture scene and previous years competitions have seen a lot of high quality applications from young poets from around the county. I am sure this year will be no different and will inspire young people across the county to start writing.”

How to apply

Applicants need to:

1. Be 13-17 years old

2. Live and educated in Warwickshire

3. Submit three poems. Out of the three, one should be inspired by Warwickshire and one should be on the 2017 National Poetry Day theme of ‘Freedom’.

4. Submit a personal statement and explain in 250 words:

  • Why you want to be Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate
  • How you would promote poetry to the diverse range of people in the county

The closing date is Tuesday 31st October, 5pm 2017. You can download the application form from or visit your local Warwickshire library to ask for a form.

A copy of the form is available here: Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate 2018 (PDF, 804.65 KB)