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Young poets given boost to start writing

26 Jun 2015

This content is tagged as Literature .

NEWS

Aspiring young writers from secondary schools around New Zealand will be encouraged to explore their poetry writing skills, thanks to a successful crowd funding campaign run by Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML).

The IIML launched the Boosted crowdfunding campaign earlier this year to reinstate the National Schools Poetry Award, which was established by former IIML director Emeritus Professor Bill Manhire in 2003 but was cancelled last year because of a lack of funding.

Current IIML Director Professor Damien Wilkins says the opportunity to take part in an award like this can be a life changing experience for many young New Zealanders.

Student entries in the competition will be judged by leading writers and poets. Ten shortlisted poets will then be brought to Wellington to experience a weekend of workshops with established poets and writers. Winning poems will be displayed on posters around the country and the young writers will become ambassadors for creativity when they return to their schools.

“The chance to meet and learn from experienced and well known poets and writers can help young people see that being a writer is a real possibility,” says Professor Wilkins.

The campaign has raised over $20,000 from members of the public, including well known writers and poets, and reached its target on the final day thanks to two large donations from companies in the creative industries.

Leading visual effects company Weta Digital and advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, have both contributed to the campaign because they see the benefits of nurturing New Zealand’s future creative talent. These donations will be added to generous support from Creative New Zealand which IIML had already secured, to launch the Poetry Award in August.

“We’re delighted that such creative companies as Weta Digital and Ogilvy & Mather are supporting New Zealand’s young writing talent and we’d like to thank everyone who donated,” says Professor Wilkins.

For more information contact Professor Damien Wilkins on damien.wilkins@vuw.ac.nz