Back: Nema Hart (ACE), Philip Marsden (Creative Awards curator), Darren Henley (ACE CEO), Phil Gibby (ACE), Helen Birchenough (Chair of ACE, South West). Front: Creative Writers – Nikita Midgley, Amber Brieley, Luke Marriott, Sophie Wainwright.

Young & Talented Cornwall, The Lord Lieutenant’s Fund has been awarded £15,170 through the Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants for its new Creative Writing Award.

The grant was announced last night (Apr 12) by Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, at a presentation evening at St Austell Brewery.

This new creative writing award, initiated by Falmouth University and Seasalt Cornwall, gives budding young writers in Cornwall the chance to kick-start their careers and achieve their writing dreams.

Successful applicants are matched with an established Cornwall-based writer for invaluable mentorship, expert advice and guidance. As well as this significant mentorship opportunity, recipients will also be granted up to £1k to be spent on moving their writing career forward, together with a reading award of £150 worth of books. The Arts Council grant will increase the level of valuable mentoring support available to Cornwall’s young writers.

The Creative Writing Award is the latest initiative of Young & Talented Cornwall, The Lord Lieutenant’s Fund which since 2005 has provided grants worth more than £350k to Cornwall’s next generation of superstars.

Young & Talented Cornwall helps young talents who otherwise lack the means to achieve their potential across a wide range of skill areas, from sports and performing arts to music and art. With the support of the award curator, Cornish author Philip Marsden, Falmouth University and Seasalt Cornwall, the Creative Writing Award is specifically dedicated to the written word and Cornwall’s brightest prospects in the field.

The four successful applicants receiving their awards last night were Amber Brierley from Porthleven, Luke Marriott from Liskeard, Nikita Midgley from Saltash and Sophie Wainwright from the Isles of Scilly.

Announcing the grant and congratulating the four young writers, Henley said: “At the Arts Council we are passionate about supporting every person in England to develop and express their creativity at all stages of their life, and that is why we’re delighted to support this new creative writing award for young people through our open access National Lottery Project Grants funding programme.

“It is fantastic that projects like this help us to achieve our vision set out in Let’s Create, and I am delighted to be here in Cornwall today to announce the first group of young and talented writers who will be partnered with mentors to develop their practice, their confidence, and their skills together with the support through our National Lottery grant funding to give them the practical help they need.”

Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, added: “Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly hold such a wealth of young talented creatives but sadly there are all too often limited resources to fully realise potential and develop careers.

“We are delighted to be able to help these brilliant young Cornish writers, thanks to the support of some very generous organisations.  We have seen tremendous success stories from previous Young & Talented Cornwall fund recipients and I look forward to watching and reading as our exceptional young Cornish writing talent here tonight develop, thrive and achieve their dreams.”