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Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award open for entries

14th March 2012 - 12:51 Noon

The 2012 Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is now open for entries, with thousands of budding poets across the world expected to take part.

The prize is open to anybody aged between 11 and 17 and there is no limit to the number of poems each person can enter, though the judging criteria is strict and only the very best works will be selected, explained former Foyle Winner and 2012 judge Helen Mort.

'Entering the Foyle Young Poets of the Year competition was one of the best things I've ever done; judging it is a dream I didn't think would come true.

'I'm looking forward to reading poems that move, surprise, intrigue and inspire me; poems that pull away my chair while I'm not looking,' she added.

Mort will be joined on the judging panel by Christopher Reid, who triumphed in the poetry category in the 2009 Costa Book Awards for his acclaimed collection A Scattering, before going on to win the overall Costa Book of the Year prize.

Last year, more than 7,000 people entered the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, with 15 overall winners chosen and 85 applicants receiving commendations.

This year, the deadline for entries is July 31st, with the winners announced on National Poetry Day on October 4th.

Victorious entrants aged between 15 and 17 will be able to attend a week-long intensive residential Arvon course to develop their creative writing skills alongside fellow poets, while 11 to 14-year-old winners will benefit from poetry residencies at their school, followed by distance mentoring.

The award has launched the careers of many poets since its inception 15 years ago and is backed by the Poetry Society and the Foyle Foundation, an independent grantmaking trust formed to implement the terms of the will of the late Christina Foyle.

She was the daughter of William Foyle, who, with his brother Gilbert, founded the Foyles bookshop in Charing Cross Road in 1903, with Christina going on to manage the store after her father's retirement in 1945.

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