Lancashire's teens urged to share their lockdown diaries

A new initiative is being launched to help the county's teens create something positive out of months of lockdown.

International author Philippa Holloway will judge the Future U lockdown creative writing  competition.
International author Philippa Holloway will judge the Future U lockdown creative writing competition.

Careers group Future U, which works with young people

in the county, has launched The Lockdown Diaries’, a writing competition for 14-19 year olds to create a range of short stories, poems or journal entries inspired by the pandemic and lockdown.

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The idea behind the project is to get young people to think about future careers in creative writing, from becoming an author through to script writers, copywriters and even English teachers.

Teenagers are being asked to write either a fiction or non-fiction piece no more than 500 words long.

The top 10 entries will be published in a special anthology and the overall winner will get a free Amazon Kindle to continue their love of reading.

And, the entries will be judged by international author Philippa Holloway whose short stories and travel writing has been published across the world while teaching English literature and creative writing at Edge Hill University.

Philippa said: "The pandemic lockdown has affected everyone in so many different ways, and I believe it is vital that we take time to think about, and process, its impact. Writing about the situation can help us understand it, and ourselves, more clearly.

"I can't wait to read stories by the young people of Lancashire and to hear what it means to them."

Dr Emma Deeks, senior coordinator at Future U added: "We know that for many young people, having to stay home and miss out on normal life like school and seeing friends has been difficult, but it has also provided an opportunity to experience different things and have more time to spend thinking and creating.

"We wanted to design a project that allowed young people to express this creativity and potentially inspire them to pursue a career within the creative industries."

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Entries can be submitted either on the Future U website or via pupils’ schools. All entries should be submitted before the deadline of August 15.

Future U works to increase career aspirations and higher education for young people and works with a network of schools, in addition to colleges, higher education providers and local agencies to create tailored activities to meet the needs of students.

Partners includes:, Blackpool Sixth Form College, Blackpool and the Fylde College, Burnley College, Edge Hill University, Inspira, Kendal College, Lancaster University, Myerscough College, Preston’s College, STEMFirst, Runshaw College, The Lancashire Colleges, University of Central Lancashire, University of Cumbria and West Lancashire College.