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New Poetry Ambassadors Scheme launched

04 November 2020


Winchester Poetry Festival launches Poetry Ambassadors Mentoring Scheme


Winchester Poetry Festival, in partnership with ArtfulScribe and University of Southampton, is excited to announce a new poetry mentorship scheme for 2021. Aimed at writers aged 16-25, Poetry Ambassadors will offer three placements, pairing mentees with professional poets featuring in the Festival’s biennial programme. Participants will be supported with a series of group and one-to-one mentoring sessions to develop work for anthology publication, helping raise the profile of young writers in the region.  


Poetry Ambassadors is part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council project Invisible Mentors, led by Dr Will May, Associate Professor in English at University of Southampton. As part of the project, participants in the mentoring scheme will have the opportunity to contribute to new research on mentoring in the creative industries, including a policy report and national symposium. 


ArtfulScribe Director, Matt West, said: “This exciting venture is a great opportunity to empower young voices in the region and to support emerging poets at an early stage of their career. As a pilot project it combines a festival that has international reach with world-class academic research to create a fantastic springboard for new writing, giving participants access to the world of contemporary poetry and insight into the craft, building on our commitment to develop and promote the work of young writers.


Stephen Boyce, Chair of Winchester Poetry Festival, said: “We are keen to ensure that our education and outreach work should have substance and be meaningful to young people. Poetry Ambassadors adds new strand to our programme that we are confident will have a lasting impact not only on the young participants but also on the festival’s direction and its contribution to the development of poetry in the region. We are grateful to all our partners and supporters for making this opportunity possible.”


Poetry Ambassadors is supported by funds from The Foyle Foundation, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Arts Council England and Winchester Poetry Festival. It forms part of the SO:Write project, a multi-strand two-year literature development programme based in Southampton, and Winchester Poetry Festival’s Education and Outreach offer. 


For further information please contact Matt West on 07588 719891 or email


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