Amanda Gorman, Penguin Launch Creative Writing Award For Poetry

Poet Amanda Gorman and Penguin Random House have established the Amanda Gorman Award, a $10,000 prize for public high school students who submit the best original work.

“We are passionate about encouraging the next generation of readers and authors and promoting diverse voices and stories,” said Penguin Random House in a statement on Thursday.

“This year, we are thrilled to announce that we are adding the Amanda Gorman Award for Poetry to our program,” the publishing company said.

The 23-year-old Gorman became world famous in January after reading her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The award is one of five creative writing awards given by the publishing company, which also includes the Maya Angelou Award for spoken-word.

Finding her voice

As the youngest inaugural poet in US history, Gorman’s captivating performance on January 22 has rocketed her to superstardom.

A committed advocate for the environment, racial equality, and gender justice, she has since picked up millions of social media and celebrity fans, a modelling contract and also opened the Super Bowl 2021.

But Gorman said she can still remember when she was just another young poet trying to find her voice.

“As someone who found my love of writing at a young age, I want to continue to foster that same love in the next generation of great poets,” Gorman said in the official statement.

Gorman said she was “honoured” to be partnering with the publishing company.

Poetry award 

Since the programme began in 1993, Penguin Random House says it has awarded more than $2.8 million to public high school students for creative writing compositions.

The program aims “to empower and celebrate hundreds of young writers each year” and “underscores” the publishing company’s “unwavering commitment to identifying and nurturing new literary talent.”

The competition will also award an additional first-place prize to the top entrant from the New York City area, as a tribute to the Creative Writing Awards previously being centred in the city.

Current public high school seniors in the US and all US territories who plan to attend a 2- or 4-year college are eligible for the Gorman award.

The application period runs from October 1 to February 1, 2022. Winners will be announced in June 2022.

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