This year’s theme is ‘What Makes Life Good’
Coram Voice has announced that actor Peter Capaldi will return to host the sixth annual edition of Voices. This is the creative writing competition for children in care and young care leavers across the country.
Coram Voice, a charity that ensures the voices of children and young people in and around the care system are heard, first launched the competition in 2016 as a platform for care-experienced young people to express their creative talents and share their stories.
Peter Capaldi said:
“It is an honour to host the Voices awards ceremony again this year. The competition is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the creativity and talent of care-experienced young people and builds greater understanding around their lives and experiences.
“I really hope that lots of young people will be inspired to put pen to paper and share their words with us. I can’t wait to read your pieces and wish you the very best of luck!”
The theme of this year’s competition is ‘What Makes Life Good’. Entries can be in any written form including poems, short stories, raps or newspaper articles, with a 500 word limit.
There are four age categories:
- Primary school
- Lower secondary school (age 11-14)
- Upper secondary school (age 15-17)
- Care leavers (age 18-25)
Entries will be judged by an expert panel of authors and poets, some of whom are care experienced. The judges are due to be announced shortly, alongside a group of young judges who were finalists in previous years of the competition.
Previous competition entrants said that participating had inspired them to write more, made them feel appreciated and valued for their talents and helped them to express their emotions about being in care.*
Ryan, winner of the Voices 2020 Primary School category, said:
“This brilliant competition gives young people the opportunity to express themselves. I’ve dealt with lots of difficult feelings to be the person I am today and writing helps to clear my head.
“Without entering this competition, I wouldn’t have discovered how much I enjoy writing. We all have a poet inside us – we just need to have a go and write from our hearts.”
Brigid Robinson, managing director of Coram Voice, said:
“We are delighted to open the 2021 edition of the Voices creative writing competition. The competition has grown year on year, and we are always impressed by the remarkable entries that we receive.
“This year’s theme of ‘What Makes Life Good’ is guaranteed to see more creative and inspiring written pieces from care experienced young people. It is a chance for young people to express what really matters to them and an opportunity to showcase their talents.
“It is also a reminder that the voices of care experienced children and young people should be centre stage as we learn about their experiences and celebrate their achievements.”
Entries can be submitted online at Voices until 31 March 2021.
*Qualitative semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with eleven children and young people who were shortlisted in the Voices 2016 and Voices 2017 competitions to understand their experiences of the competition and how it may have impacted on their lives.