The winners of the 2022 Young Norfolk Writing Competition — Norfolk’s largest annual creative writing competition for young people aged 11-18 — have been announced.

The annual competition, which celebrates creative writing in all its forms, is a partnership between the National Centre for Writing and Young Norfolk Arts. It received 311 entries in 2022 with 153 students from 54 institutions in the region submitting their freshest, boldest work.

Hannah Garrard, Learning and Participation Programme Manager, NCW said:

‘The 2022 Young Norfolk Writing Competition has yet again demonstrated the huge range of voices, ideas and creativity the region’s young writers have to offer and we have been particularly impressed by the skill around character development, narrative voice, form and dialogue that the winning pieces showed.

Putting your work forward for a public competition like this takes courage – and I would like to thank everyone who entered for giving National Centre for Writing the privilege of reading your work. It is an excellent way to focus on specific pieces and practice the craft of writing, so I urge you to seize every opportunity to do this.

This year’s judging process was facilitated by our Lit from the Inside group of 14-17 year old creatives who had the huge task of reading all the entries, debating and finally deciding on which pieces to select as the final 20. They showed skill in their critiquing and curating. Thank you to all of you!’

Lucy Farrant, Director of YNA, said:

‘This year’s competition was a total joy. We received an excellent number and range of entries from across the county and I feel very buoyed up by both the quality of the writing submitted and also the enthusiasm for creative writing generally. Thank you so much to everyone involved – especially all those talented young writers.’

‘This year’s competition was a total joy.’

The winners of the Young Norfolk Writing Competition 2022 (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Emma Becker, 14, Acle Academy
  • Ella Coulby, 15, Bungay High School
  • Lilly Cousens, 14, Long Stratton High School
  • Emily Cunnington, 16, Norwich High School for Girls
  • Benedict Leeder, 13, Hellesdon High School
  • Rebecca Mace, 16, Hobart High School

Read their winning entries here

Ella Coulby, one of the winners, said:

‘It feels amazing to win, I feel confident in my writing and excited to take more opportunities like this.’

A further 12 young writers received commendation from the judges:

  • Chloe Bradshaw, 14, Hellesdon High School
  • Rebecca Burrows, 14, Broadland High Ormiston Academy
  • Liv Caulfield, 14, Archbishop Sancroft High School
  • Ella Clark, 11, Loddon Junior School
  • Annie Daw, 17, Fakenham Sixth Form
  • Macy-Jane Hewitt
  • Lola Hopkins, 12, Alderman Peel High School
  • Isabella Kirby, 15, The Norwich School
  • Atlas Perkins, 13, Thorpe St Andrew High School
  • Rowan Senior, 16, Thorpe St Andrew High School
  • Mia Taylor, 14, Taverham High School
  • Francesca Wright, 17, Sir John Leeman Sixth Form

The competition is supported by Norfolk County Council and Arts Council England and focuses on engaging young people to become more involved with the arts while celebrating the writing talent in the region. Entries can take the form of stories, lyrics, narrative for games, graphic stories, poems, spoken word, scripts, podcasts, plays, articles, journalism, or essays.

Young Norfolk Writing Competition is a partnership between National Centre for Writing, Young Norfolk Arts and Anguish’s Educational Foundation with support from Arts Council England and Norfolk County Council.

National Centre for Writing