The winners of the Peacock Poetry Prize 2018 – an annual creative writing competition produced by Brighton Festival and Brighton, Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC) and supported by Lulu.com – have been announced.
The eight finalists were chosen from 100 entries – a record number for the competition – which this year had the theme of ‘hard work’, a subject inspired by Brighton Festival 2018 Guest Director David Shrigley’s book of the same title
Submissions were divided into three age groups – those writers aged between 11-13 years, 14-16 years 13-16 years and 17-19 years.
‘Working with Words’ by George Linehan won the 11-13 years category, ‘Alzheimer’s’ by Lottie Erratt-Rose won the 14-16 category, and ‘The Farrier’ by Amelie Maurice-Jones won the 17-19 age category.
The rest of the finalists were as follows: Yasmine Conway, Cole Hodler, Lillia Hudson-Amatt , Sylvie Goodwin and Christopher Clay. Each finalist received a cup featuring designs by Guest Director David Shrigley.
The Peacock Poetry Prize aims to encourage young writers to explore the written word from a creative point of view. Each year encourages them to write on a different theme, with this year being ‘hard work’. Whether completing an assignment, building a relationship or breaking a habit, we all work hard on aspects of our daily lives. Each finalist submitted up to three poems with a maximum length of 20 lines per poem.
Pippa Smith, Brighton Festival’s Children and Family Producer, says: “The Peacock Poetry Prize offers a great opportunity for young people to have their writing seriously appraised and appreciated. Our panel of judges reads and discusses every poem and it is always a struggle to decide which of our many talented entrants will be invited to the finalists’ award party.
“We are thrilled that so many young people in Brighton and Hove are Writing poetry. The standard of entries remains high, once more, showing a real love of language, and composition that is truly astonishing and a maturity even from our youngest entrants.”
William Baldwin, Principal of Brighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College, says: “BHASVIC is proud to have sponsored the Peacock Poetry Prize. Poetry is imaginations language, helping us understand and appreciate the world around us. A great poem can describe what we ourselves have no words for. As poetry is such a universal vehicle of human expression it is vital that we continue to nurture a love for it in the younger generation.”
Kat Head, Guest Judge of the competition: “Discovering what the next generation of poets have to say about ‘Hard Work’ was an experience that ignited me. The emotional maturity of the poems is striking, and shows the scope and individuality of Brighton’s up and coming writers.”
Entries were judged by our panel of experts, led by Kat Head, and prizes were awarded to the winners in each category at the ceremony at Brighton Dome Founders Room on Wednesday 23 May.