BUDDING novelists, journalists, screenwriters and poets aged 16 to 24 are invited to apply for mentorship to help them achieve their dreams.

The Young & Talented Cornwall Creative Writing Award has opened for applications, giving young wordsmiths the opportunity to access career-changing support. 

As well as one-to-one nurturing and advice from established Cornish authors, successful recipients will have access to a cash award of up to £1,000 enabling them to develop a particular project or fund much-needed equipment.

They will also benefit from a £150 book voucher to highlight the importance of good reading to the craft of writing.

Recipients will follow in the footsteps of previous award cohorts who, following expert one-to-one advice and guidance from mentors, have travelled as far as London and Denmark in pursuit of their writing. 

Porthtowan writer Rebecca Pearce is just one of the award’s success stories. Matched with Cornwall-based memoirist Cathy Rentzenbrink, Rebecca, 22, visited The London Book Fair where she made connections and drew inspiration for her future work.

“I am someone who can sometimes doubt myself and lack confidence, but the award has recognised my talent,” said Rebecca. “I have something that validates me. It goes beyond my degree. I can see myself as a professional writer and going on to explore my own publishing venture.”

Falmouth’s Tayfun Zaidi, 21, was matched with Patrick Gale, renowned author of titles including Mother’s BoyRough Music and Notes from an Exhibition. Tayfun is using his grant on a research trip to Denmark for his next historical fantasy fiction novel.  

“Being part of the award has meant that I have someone from the industry, with huge amounts of experience, offering a new perspective on my writing,” says Tayfun. “Patrick has unlocked my confidence. He undertakes research trips when creating his own work and inspired me to do the same. I would never have been able to even begin to think about doing this without the award – it has been moulded around me and what I need which has been invaluable.”

Philip added: “We are now beginning to see the first group of young writers complete their year of mentoring, and it is tremendous to see what a difference it’s made.

“Having the confidence to keep writing is not easy at the start, nor is it always clear how exactly to develop your particular talent – from deciding what books to read, to crafting sentences and knowing how to conduct research. Our mentors have been through all this themselves and can help steer young writers in the right direction.”

Anyone aged 16 to 24 years with a flair for writing can apply. The closing date for applications is July 14.

For more information, head to www.youngandtalentedcornwall.org