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> > > Top poet and playwright Lemn Sissay to judge new literary award with Creative Future

Brighton-based charity Creative Future has launched a national competition to discover the best writers from disadvantaged groups who find it hard to get their work recognised.

The judging panel will be led by best-selling poet, playwright and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, who spent his childhood in care and who will present the prizes at an award ceremony at Charleston House, East Sussex, in September during the Small Wonder literary festival.

The Creative Future Literary Awards has prizes totaling £5,000 and is open to short stories and poetry from writers in marginalised groups including homeless people, those with physical and learning disabilities, as well as those with mental health or substance misuse issues, the long-term unemployed, carers, ex-offenders and refugees.

The competition theme is “The Spark” and is divided into two sections: Flash fiction for short stories of 300 words maximum, and poems of 200 words maximum, with a deadline for entries of midday on June 16, 2013.

There’s an entry fee of £5, or £15 to include a critique of the submitted work.

There will be a total of 20 award winners and prizes include cash as well as membership and mentoring at New Writing South, Brighton, which is dedicated to inspiring and nurturing creative writers throughout South East England.

Winners will get to read their work at the award ceremony and successful entries will be published in an award anthology.

Creative Future Project Director, Dominique De-Light, says: “The association with well-known authors, publication and national coverage will ensure that winning writers will experience greatly boosted self-esteem, acknowledgement of their writing skill and increased opportunities”.

The charity already runs two annual events to promote the work of disabled and marginalised writers and artists in the South East: The Impact Art Fair, the only art fair in the UK solely featuring the work of disabled and disadvantaged artists, and The Tight Modern, a miniature replica of the Tate Modern highlighting 50 disabled artists.

Anyone interested in entering the literary competition can get more details and apply for an entry form at Check for more details

The award ceremony will be held at Charleston House on Friday 27 September.

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