Coram Voice announces return of creative writing competition for children in care and young care leavers
Coram Voice is excited to announce the return of Voices, its annual writing competition for children in care and young care leavers across the country. The competition is open for entries until 10 February 2019.
Coram Voice, a charity that provides a range of services for children and young people in and around the care system, first launched the competition in 2016 as a platform for care-experienced young people to express their creative talents and to celebrate their voices.
The theme of this year’s competition, ‘Growing Up’, was chosen by young people who took part in the competition last year. Entries can be in any written form including poems, short stories, raps or newspaper articles, with a 500 word limit. There are four age categories: primary school, lower secondary school (age 11-14), upper secondary school (age 15-18) and care leavers (age 19-25).
Entries will be judged by a panel of high-profile authors, poets and presenters:
• Kit de Waal, the award-winning author of My Name is Leon which tells the story of a vulnerable young boy who is taken into care
• Jarvis, whose book Alan’s Big Scary Teeth was selected by the BookTrust to be distributed to children across the country
• Kiran Millwood-Hargrave, the Waterstones Children’s Book award-winner for 2017
• Mr Gee, the Sony Gold award-winning poet, comedian and presenter
• Ashley John-Baptiste, care leaver and ground-breaking BBC reporter, who was shortlisted for the Royal Television Society Young Talent Of The Year award in 2018
• Alice Broadway, best-selling Young Adult Fiction author of the Skinbooks Trilogy
• Jenny Molloy, care leaver and inspiring novelist, author of the Times bestseller, Hackney Child
• And Ric Flo, care leaver, innovative rap artist and creative director of the hip-hop collective Jungle Brown
Louise, who was a runner up in last year’s competition and met the Queen in December, said: “I entered Voices 2018 on a whim and I’m glad I did! Since entering, I was fortunate enough to read my entry for the Queen. This was a scary experience however getting to share my experience as a care leaver with the Queen was a privilege. I am passionate about making the voices of care experienced people heard and I am very thankful for this experience.”
Previous competition entrants said that participating had inspired them to write more, made them feel appreciated and valued for their talents and helped them to express their emotions about being in care.* One young writer said: “The competition is a safe opportunity to share your personal story – it’s a wonderful way to embrace your history and yourself”, while another added “to put what you feel on a piece of paper is quite therapeutic.”
Brigid Robinson, Managing Director of Coram Voice said, “We are delighted to launch our Voices competition for the fourth year running and can’t wait to see children and young people’s amazing entries.. We are continually inspired by the talent of the young people, their creativity is immense and we hope their stories improve understanding of their experiences.”
Entries can be submitted on the Coram Voice website until 10 February 2019.