Young poets urged to enter competition to honour memory of Gazette reporter

Late Gazette reporter Terry Kelly.
Late Gazette reporter Terry Kelly.

Young poets across South Tyneside are being urged to enter a competition in memory of former Gazette reporter Terry Kelly.

The second Terry Kelly Poetry Prize for Young Writers is being launched in honour of late reporter Terry.

Last year's poetry competition winners, Harry McNamara and Morgan Place receive their prizes from Tom Kelly, the Mayor Coun Alan Smith and Mayoress Coun Moira Smith at the Customs House.

Last year's poetry competition winners, Harry McNamara and Morgan Place receive their prizes from Tom Kelly, the Mayor Coun Alan Smith and Mayoress Coun Moira Smith at the Customs House.

Terry was a hugely-respected journalist who covered Jarrow, Hebburn and the business sector for the Gazette for many years.

He died last year aged 57 after battling a virus for 14 months.

A published poet and a contributor to the Larkin Society, Terry was also a member of the Literature and Philosophical Society in Newcastle.

Once again the poetry prize is a partnership between The Customs House, South Tyneside Libraries and The Shields Gazette.

Last year's poetry competition winners Harry McNamara and Morgan Place receive their prizes from Tom Kelly, the Mayor Coun Alan Smith and Mayoress Coun Moira Smith, with entrants at the Customs House.

Last year's poetry competition winners Harry McNamara and Morgan Place receive their prizes from Tom Kelly, the Mayor Coun Alan Smith and Mayoress Coun Moira Smith, with entrants at the Customs House.

It is supported by the Barbour Foundation.

It is part of this year’s Takeover, The Customs House’s youth arts festival, that aims to help young people develop and showcase their talent in a professional venue.

Young people under the age of 25 are invited to submit poems of any length and on any subject.

Daniel Clifford, learning and participation officer at The Customs House, said he was looking forward to seeing the entries come in.

He said: “I think it is a really good opportunity to get young people excited about poetry and showcase young writing talent in the North East in memory of a good friend of The Customs House.”

Professional poets, including playwright and poet Tom Kelly, along with representatives of the three partner organisations will judge the competition.

Shortlisted entries will be published in a poetry anthology.

An awards ceremony will be held at The Customs House on Wednesday, May 31, and include poetry readings and special guests.

Winners will receive a cash prize and framed certificate and there will be special prizes for the educational institutions of the winners.

There are three awards categories: 11 years and under, 12 to 16 years and 17 to 25 years old. Entrants must submit one poem each by midnight on Sunday, May 14.

Please send all entries as a Word document to daniel@customshouse.co.uk, including the name and age of the young person as well as their school or education establishment and the broad area in which they live.