Poetry prize in memory of Gazette reporter welcomes regional entries

The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize 2017 judges Maxine Davies, Alistair Robinson
and Tom Kelly with winners Lauren Aspery, Charlotte Macmillan and Morgan Place.
The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize 2017 judges Maxine Davies, Alistair Robinson and Tom Kelly with winners Lauren Aspery, Charlotte Macmillan and Morgan Place.

A literary prize in memory of former Shields Gazette reporter is to become a regional competition.

The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize showcases the best young poetry talent in the North East and forms part of The Takeover Festival at The Customs House.

Terry Kelly.

Terry Kelly.

It was set up in memory of Terry Kelly, a writer, poet and respected journalist for The Shields Gazette, whose family have a strong connections with The Customs House.

His brother, Tom, has written numerous plays for The Customs House, including The Dolly Mixtures, while his niece, Fiona Martin, is deputy director of The Customs House.

For the last two years, The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize has attracted scores of entries from across Tyne and Wear, but is now open throughout the region.

And this year the annual event has also attracted funding from The Barbour Foundation who have donated £3,000 to support the competition and two other elements of The Takeover Festival - Mean Teens Breakdance Jam, with Just Jam international, and The North East Young Filmmakers Awards.

Elizabeth Kane, learning officer at The Customs House, said: “We are delighted to launch our search for the best young poetry talent in the North East with the opening of entries for the Terry Kelly Poetry Prize 2018.

“The support of The Barbour Foundation in our third year is also welcome and has enabled us to open the competition up to a wider audience and hopefully, attract more entries to build on the success of the previous two years.”

The competition has also had the support of The Shields Gazette, The Barbour Foundation, Red Squirrel Press and The Rotary Club of Jarrow with Harton, among others.

The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize is open to people living in the North East who are aged 25 and under.

There are three age categories: under-11, 11 to 16 and 17 to 25. Shortlisted entries will be included in an anthology.

Elizabeth added: “The poem can be about anything.

“We love how poems can inspire so many emotions.”

A panel of judges will decide which poems are shortlisted and the category winners, who will each receive a cash prize.

Entries can be submitted via e-mail to: elizabeth@customshouse.co.uk.

Along with your poem and its title, please include your name, date of birth and postcode, the name of a parent/guardian if you are under 16, plus the name of your

school/college/university if you are still studying.

The closing date for entries is midday on Friday, April 27, 2018.

Poems that have previously been entered cannot be accepted.