Being appointed Manx Youth Bard changed my life.

That’s according to Ballakermeen High School student Hadassah Smith, who won last year’s competition.

She is now encouraging other youngsters to enter this year’s competition.

Hadassah told Island Life: ‘Entering Manx Youth Bard changed my life and I would encourage all to enter as it is really fun and a really cool to do.’

She added: ‘I found the role of Manx Youth Bard really cool and amazing as my confidence grew, like performing to crowds and meeting new people from interviews and events.’ She said the highlights of her year were reading her poems on Manx Radio and performing in Isle Listen’s Young Stars of Mann talent show at the Gaiety Theatre in July.

‘I got to meet loads of talented people and hear their performances,’ she said.

Hadassah, along with current Manx Bard, Boakesey Closs, was also invited by One World Isle of Man to compose a poem to mark the 75th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Global Learning Fortnight.

Applications are open to island residents aged 10 to 17 for the role, which will see them attend a number of cultural events during the year.

The competition will see judges select a number of entrants who will be invited to the final stage, judged in person by the Manx Bards and a special guest at Henry Bloom Noble Library, in Douglas.

Full details on how to enter can be found on the Manx Bard Facebook page or email [email protected]

Entries must be submitted by Friday, March 1. The winner will be announced at the Henry Bloom Noble Library on Friday, March 8.

Culture Vannin sponsors the position.