Eight young wordsmiths from Cornwall have won a year’s worth of invaluable mentorship with established Cornish authors thanks to the Young & Talented Cornwall Creative Writing Award. 

Sponsored by Falmouth University and Seasalt Cornwall and supported by the Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants, the award was launched last year as the latest initiative of Young & Talented Cornwall, The Lord Lieutenant’s Fund.  

The 2023 group – consisting of aspiring poets, journalists and scriptwriters aged  between 16 and 23 – is the second cohort of young people to benefit from the Creative Writing Award.  

As part of the mentoring opportunity, they will each be matched with professional Cornish writers including Patrick Gale, Craig Barr-Green and Rebecca Gregson, and given expert advice and guidance.  

Each recipient can also access a further cash award of up to £1,000 each to develop a particular project or to fund much-needed equipment. They will also benefit from a £150 book voucher. 

Among the talented eight recipients are Ella Brooks-Richardson, 16, from St Austell who combines a passion for creative writing and politics and strives for a career in print journalism; and 17-year-old novelist Keira Money from Camborne.  

Penryn’s Alexander Scrase-Olver is using the award to hone his script and lyric writing skills, while Devoran-based Anna West is expanding her portfolio of comedy writing. Tayfun Zaidi (21, Falmouth), Rebecca Pearce (22, Porthtowan), Hugh Stribley (23, Falmouth) and Enid Kirk (age 18, Perranuthnoe) complete the list of recipients.  

They were presented with their awards by Lord Lieutenant Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE and award curator Philip Marsden at The Poly in Falmouth on Monday as part of Falmouth Book Festival.  

“Cornwall has long inspired creativity and is a hotbed of talent,” said Colonel Bolitho. “This really shone through in the quality of these entries, which were more than twice as many as last year.  

“I am delighted to be able to support some of our writers of the future and to see some of their early work. I can’t wait to see what they go on to do next.” 

Philip Marsden added: “With the increase in applications has come a much wider range of writing talent. 

“I am thrilled to think of these eight young writers working with established authors to bring on their ideas and skills. 

“And the awards continue – we will carry on seeking out others who might be tapping or scribbling away unsupported in rooms all over Cornwall.” 

The latest award recipients joined those from the inaugural cohort, including Sophie Wainwright from the Isles of Scilly, who worked mentor Wyl Menmuir.  

“My mentoring experience has helped me to develop better writing practices which encourage me to redraft, revise and improve my stories,” she said. 

“There is a lot to learn about the process of writing, and now I feel confident that I’m on the right track to becoming a successful storyteller.” 

• For more information on how to apply, head to www.youngandtalentedcornwall.org