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Photo of student winners and judges

Young Writers Awards 2022

The Lit & Phil’s Young Writers’ Awards are inspired by the Young Writers’ Prize at Manchester’s  Portico Library.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Pen & Palette Club, the Lit & Phil has been able to run the Awards for the ninth year. 109 entries were received and we worked with ten schools.

We hope that everyone who has taken part has enjoyed the experience and that they will continue to write in years to come. Every young writer who submitted an entry will receive a certificate entitling them to one year’s free membership of the Lit & Phil.

A Message from Jessica Wortley, Awards Co-ordinator

It has been a privilege to work with the young people involved with the Lit & Phil’s Young Writers' Awards. It was a pleasure to see the students engaging with the tasks given to them, and to work with them in school as well as at the Lit and Phil. The pupils' eagerness and motivation is to be commended. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the teachers, mentors, judges and the pupils themselves for all their hard work. I hope the students’ enthusiasm towards literature continues, and that in these challenging times it will prove a means to help them understand themselves and their place in the world. I hope we will see them reading or writing at the Lit & Phil in the future, and who knows, maybe one day, they'll have a book to launch too! I am sure that visiting the Lit & Phil, as part of the competition, is an experience that they will remember


Poetry judge: Tom Kelly is a Jarrow-born poet and playwright. Most of his poetry collections were launched at the Lit & Phil.

Fiction judge: Sheila Wakefield is the founder and managing editor of Red Squirrel Press which publishes poetry, short stories and novels.

Non-fiction judge: David Whetstone is the former Arts Editor of The Journal.

Presentation of the awards by poet Jake Morris-Campbell

Presentation of the Pen & Palette Club Award for overall winner by Professor Kelsey Thornton, former Professor of English Literature at Newcastle University.


Thanks are due to writer and teacher Jessica Wortley who has co-ordinated the running of this year’s Awards, recruited mentors and judges, conducted workshops and ensured the smooth-running of the whole process!

Grateful thanks are due to the Pen & Palette Club for their generous donation; to the judges; to Jake Morris-Campbell for presenting the prizes, to Kelsey Thornton for selecting an overall winner; and the Awards mentors: Laura Buckley, Karolina Kubilaite, Nadia Panufnik, Kelly Robson, Adrienne Hunter and Kenny Amis.

Last but by no means least, sincere thanks are due to all the young writers who have taken part and to their teachers.

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