AN annual competition that raises money to support young people in the Chard and Ilminster area training for careers in the performing and creative arts has been launched.

The Yeovil Community Arts Association has also announced a new category in its 2022 international literary prize writing competition, which opened on Saturday (January 1).

Now in its 19th year, the Yeovil Literary Prize continues to attract more entries each year from accomplished and aspiring wordsmiths from all over the world.

The money raised through entry fees goes towards supporting talented youngsters in living in Chard and Ilminster and the rest of South Somerset who are training for careers in the performing and creative arts.

This year, a new Children’s and Young Adult Novel category has been added to the existing prizes set aside for novels, short stories, poetry and ‘Writing without Restriction’.

To enter the new category, writers must provide a 500-word synopsis and the first 3,000 words of their book.

They can include an illustration to accompany their entry if they so wish.

The winners will receive cash prizes and also be invited to present their work at a special showcase event as part of the Yeovil Literary Festival.

Although the 2022 panel has yet to be announced, previous judges have included literary agents and publishers, as well as accomplished authors and poets.

Liz Pike, chairman of the Yeovil Community Arts Association, said: “The high quality and creativity shown in books for children and young people is incredible, so we’re delighted to be able to introduce a new award for this important genre.

"A love of words and stories often begins with the books we enjoyed as children, and it takes a special talent to write for this – often very discerning – audience.

"We are hoping that this new competition category will enable us to highlight excellence in this field, as we already do in poetry, short story and novel-writing.”

The competition is already open for entries, with the closing date to submit examples of your work set at May 31 this year.

For full details of the entry requirements, past winners, and rules, go to

The winners will be announced in the autumn.