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Young people take centre stage in creative playwriting competition

23 May 2018

Caroline Kennedy, Councillor Janet Emsley, Lisa O'Neill-Rogan, Bryan Beresford and Punam Ramchurn

Aspiring young writers can show off their creative talents in a special playwriting competition asking them to pen a 'different story of Rochdale'.

All 14-25 year olds are being challenged to offer a unique and positive perspective of everyday life through a fast-paced and gripping plot.

Judges are looking for inspiring entries that portray Rochdale as a vibrant place to live in and work in, through its rich literary history, cultural diversity and artistic excellence.

The script could be framed around any new ideas, from overheard conversations, to community events, to local characters or a moment from local history.

A lucky winner will be mentored by award-winning playwright Nicola Schofield, with their script turned into a play to be performed by professional actors. It will be showcased at local schools, theatres and at the Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival, which this year runs from Monday, 15 to Monday, 22 October 2018.

'This is a brilliant idea that will bring alive the creative thoughts of hundreds of young people'

The competition has been organised in partnership between us, M6 Theatre Company and Touchstones Rochdale.

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for culture, said: "This is a brilliant idea that will bring alive the creative thoughts of hundreds of young people. We are looking for vibrant and expressive narratives that showcase the many positive stories there are to tell. It's a unique opportunity for an aspiring writer to showcase their literary talents. What better way to bring the borough alive than through the power of words and thoughts?"

Playwright Nicola Schofield said: "This is an amazing opportunity for a young writer and it's the 1st creative writing opportunity in Rochdale that leads to a 1st commission. This is how I started, and it led to further commissions in radio and television. I am really excited about seeing the entries and working with a talented young writer to bring their wonderful words alive on local stages."

The closing date for entries is Friday, 6 July 2018 with the winner announced on Thursday, 12 July 2018. The competition is open to all 14-25 year olds living across the borough of Rochdale.

Pictured, from left to right, are Caroline Kennedy, M6 Theatre Programme Manager; Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for culture; Lisa O'Neill-Rogan, creative learning and participation manager, Touchstones Rochdale; Bryan Beresford, cultural & community engagement assistant, Touchstones Rochdale; Punam Ramchurn, Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival director.