From education to employment

New challenge set for Lancashire’s young writers

Emma Deeks, Future U Senior Coordinator

A competition to find the next generation of Lancashire’s talented young writers has returned for the second year.

The Future Writers project has been launched for 2021 by careers support organisation Future U, as part of its creative writing programme which aims to inspire young people to explore the benefits of reading and writing and the educational opportunities available.

It has been designed to get young people to consider the different types of careers available to them in the creative writing sector, from authors and journalists, to script writing and marketing.

Open to students aged 14–19 from across the county, the theme of this year’s competition is ‘Outside the Window.’ It follows on from the success of last year’s brief ‘The Lockdown Diaries’, which attracted a large number of entries.

A panel of experts, including academics from Future U’s partner universities and a guest judge, author Philippa Holloway, will determine the winners. The top 10 pieces will be compiled to create an anthology, while one overall winner will be awarded with an Amazon Kindle.

Entries can be made in written or spoken format, should be no more than 500 words or three minutes long and must be submitted by Friday April 30 via Future U’s website.

As part of the project, Future U is also providing the county’s schools with sector skills sessions, designed to explore careers within creative industries and outline how young people can access relevant opportunities.

Emma Deeks, Future U Senior Coordinator, said:

“After the success of our first Future Writers competition, The Lockdown Diaries, we have put together another project to encourage the young people of Lancashire to share their individual ideas, thoughts and imaginings.

“We were overwhelmed with the quality of responses we received last time and the winning pieces demonstrate what an important outlet creative writing can be.

“As well as written work, we are broadening the criteria to include spoken word pieces too, and we hope that this will encourage even more young people to take up the creative challenge. This competition is a great way for young people to express themselves, make their voices heard and it could even be a way of starting their creative careers!”

Future U is part of the national Uni Connect Programme, funded by the Office for Students, and continues to support school pupils across Lancashire to encourage more young people to think about higher education and future careers.

The project involves institutions and organisations across the county including the University of Central Lancashire, Lancaster University, Edge Hill University and the University of Cumbria.

Lancashire’s Future U works with a network of schools, in addition to colleges, higher education providers and local agencies to create tailored activities to meet the needs of students for now and the future.

Its list of partners includes: Blackburn College, Blackpool Sixth Form College, Blackpool and the Fylde College, Burnley College, Edge Hill University, Inspira, Kendal College, Lancaster University, Myerscough College, Nelson and Colne College, Preston’s College, STEMFirst, Runshaw College, The Lancashire Colleges, University of Central Lancashire, University of Cumbria, West Lancashire College.

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