Posted on 18th April 2024 by

Calling all budding novelists, journalists, screenwriters and poets aged between 16 and 24 – invaluable mentorship is available to help you achieve your dreams.


The Young & Talented Cornwall Creative Writing Award has opened for applications giving young wordsmiths from Cornwall the opportunity to access career-changing support.


As well as one-to-one nurturing and advice from established Cornish authors, successful recipients will have access to a cash award of up to £1,000 enabling them to develop a particular project or fund much-needed equipment. They will also benefit from a £150 book voucher to highlight the importance of good reading to the craft of writing.


Recipients will follow in the footsteps of previous award cohorts who following expert one-to-one advice and guidance from mentors have travelled to London and as far as Denmark in pursuit of their writing.


Rebecca Pearce (age 22), a talented writer from Porthtowan is just one of the award’s success stories. Since being matched with Conwall-based author, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Rebecca has visited The London Book Fair where she made connections and drew inspiration for her future work.


Rebecca said: “I am someone who can sometimes doubt myself and lack confidence, but the award has recognised my talent. I have something that validates me. It goes beyond my degree. I can see myself as a professional writer and going on to explore my own publishing venture.”


Falmouth’s Tayfun Zaidi (age 21) meanwhile was matched with Patrick Gale, renowned author of titles such as Mother’s Boy, Rough Music and Notes from an Exhibition. Tayfun is using his grant on a research trip to Denmark for his next historical fantasy fiction novel.


“Being part of the award has meant that I have someone from the industry, with huge amounts of experience offering a new perspective on my writing. Patrick has unlocked my confidence,” explains Tayfun. “My mentor undertakes research trips when creating his own work and inspired me to do the same. I would never have been able to even begin to think about doing this without the award – it has been moulded around me and what I need which has been invaluable.”



The Creative Writing Award is sponsored by Falmouth University and Seasalt Cornwall and supported by the Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants. An initiative of Young & Talented Cornwall, The Lord Lieutenant’s Fund, the award strives to help young individuals who have demonstrated outstanding talent achieve their potential, regardless of their background or financial situation. The award brings together some of Cornwall’s most respected and experienced writers, including author and award curator, Philip Marsden.


Philip comments: ‘We are now beginning to see the first group of young writers complete their year of mentoring, and it is tremendous to see what a difference it’s made. Having the confidence to keep writing is not easy at the start, nor is it always clear how exactly to develop your particular talent – from deciding what books to read, to crafting sentences and knowing how to conduct research. Our mentors have been through all this themselves and can help steer young writers in the right direction.’


Anybody aged between 16 and 24 years with a flair for writing can apply for the Young & Talented Cornwall Creative Writing Award.