WINCHESTER Poetry Festival has announced a new mentorship scheme for 2021.

In partnership with ArtfulScribe and University of Southampton, it is aimed at writers aged 16 to 25.

Poetry Ambassadors will offer three placements, pairing tutees with professional writers.

They will be supported with a series of group and one-to-one sessions to develop work for anthology publication, helping to raise the profile 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.”

The scheme 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.

Participants 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."