Poetry contest judging panel announced as award set to honour former Gazette reporter Terry Kelly

Last year's judges Maxine Davies, Alistair Robinson and Tom Kelly with winners Lauren Aspery, Charlotte Macmillan and Morgan Place.
Last year's judges Maxine Davies, Alistair Robinson and Tom Kelly with winners Lauren Aspery, Charlotte Macmillan and Morgan Place.

The judging panel of a poetry contest in memory of a much-respected former Gazette reporter has been announced.

The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize was set up in memory of the well-liked journalist and writer, who passed away in January 2016.

The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize i s open for those aged 25 and under.

The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize i s open for those aged 25 and under.

The competition is open for young poets aged up to 25 as it aims to inspire youngsters in the North East to embrace poetry, just as Terry did throughout his life.

It is now into its third staging, with Terry’s brother Tom – who has had six collections of poetry published and over a dozen plays and musicals produced at The Customs House – to again act as head judge.

He will be joined on the judging panel by University of Sunderland senior journalism lecturer Alistair Robinson, who will also host the evening.

Also on the panel will be Sheila Wakefield, the founder and editor of Northumbria-based published Red Squirrel Press.

This year’s judging panel bring a wealth of expertise

Elizabeth Kane

The event will run from Monday, May 28 to Friday, June 1 next year at The Customs House, in South Shields.

Elizabeth Kane, learning officer at The Customs House, said: “This year’s judging panel bring a wealth of expertise.

“It’s great for young people to see that it is possible to work in the arts, as a writer, an editor, a publisher, journalist or educator.”

The competition is split into three age categories: under-11 (primary school), 11 to 16 (secondary school) and 17 to 25.

Shortlisted entries will be included in a published collection of poems, and category winners will each receive a cash prize. Poems should be submitted via email to elizabeth@customshouse.co.uk and by Friday, April 27, and must include the poet’s name, the name of a parent or guardian if they are under 16, their date of birth, postcode and, if applicable, their place of study.