MaxLiteracy Awards 2021


The Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust, Engage and the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE), are delighted to announce the MaxLiteracy Awards 2021.

MaxLiteracy is an exciting initiative that develops new ways of teaching creative writing by bringing together writers, learning settings, galleries, art museums and visual arts venues.

Galleries, art museums and visual arts venues in England are invited to submit proposals to host a MaxLiteracy 2021 project supported by the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust, which will grant three venues an Award of £8,000 to support a dedicated programme of creative writing and literacy work with learning settings.

In response to the global health emergency, galleries, museums and visual arts venues of any size in England are invited to apply and submit proposals to host the MaxLiteracy 2021 Awards, that have a particular focus on supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people or young adults through creative writing, literacy and the visual arts.

Three venues will be granted an Award of £8,000 each to support a dedicated programme of creative writing and literacy work with a formal or informal learning setting, to take place from April to August 2021.

Learning settings may include: schools (primary and secondary) and youth support agencies, for example, virtual schools, agencies supporting young people in care or care leavers, those identified as vulnerable/at risk, youth justice settings and sanctuary agencies for young people seeking refuge.

Application Deadline: 10am on Thursday 4 February 2021.

We have tried to make the MaxLiteracy Awards as flexible as possible in 2021 to address the many challenges brought by the pandemic and the huge need to support the mental health of our children and young people.  We know that the visual arts have a crucial role to play in recovery. We want to encourage museums and galleries  to develop partnerships with teachers and creative writers that can work within the confines of changing public health guidelines but still reach vulnerable young people at a time of pressing need.  

Veronica Reinhardt – Trustee of the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust

The aims of the Awards are:
  • For the gallery, museum or venue to engage a creative writer to work with a local learning setting on a creative writing or literacy project, taking inspiration from the venue’s visual art collections, displays or buildings. 
  • To support the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people or young adults.
  • For a creative writing resource to be developed by the venue, creative writer, National Association for Writers in Education (NAWE) and the learning setting, to encourage engagement with the venue through creative writing.
  • The resources will be widely shared within the arts and education sectors to encourage and promote the use of galleries, art museums and visual arts venues as a context for creative writing and literacy work.
  • For the gallery, museum or venue to build a legacy for the award, for example, by sustaining their partnership with the creative writer and learning setting and/or promoting the resource created beyond the end of the award activity.

Engage is delighted to be working again with the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust and the National Association for Writers in Education on MaxLiteracy. We want to support creative writers, children and young people to take inspiration from the visual arts. We are keen to explore how writing and engagement with art can support wellbeing. During this period of change, as a result of Coivd-19, we are keen to support children and young people to engage with creative writing and art.

Jane Sillis – Director of Engage

Recipients of the Awards will be asked to consider different approaches to the proposed delivery of their projects in response to the changing environment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including remote/virtual learning delivery packages and resources.

The resources created in 2021 should build on, rather than replicate those already produced through the Awards.

After much anticipation, we are delighted to be able to announce the call-out for the 2021 MaxLiteracy Awards.

With a particular focus on mental health and wellbeing, the 2021 Awards are aimed at both formal and informal learning settings to further enhance and better the life chances and creative opportunities for young people. This is an exciting round through which we hope will develop and strengthen creative partnerships between arts and cultural organisations, learning settings and creative writers, particularly at a time when developmental support for young people is most crucial.

Ronda Gowland-Pryde – MaxLiteracy Coordinator
Who can apply?

Applications are invited from galleries, art museums and visual arts venues in England. Experience of working with creative writers and formal or informal learning settings is welcomed but not essential. Venues with less experience are encouraged to use this opportunity to develop work in this area.

How to Apply

To apply, submit a completed application form by email to info@engage.org by 10am on Thursday 4 February 2021.

Please use subject line: ‘MaxLiteracy Awards 2021 Venue Application’.

If you have questions about the programme or your application, please contact Ronda Gowland-Pryde, MaxLiteracy Coordinator on maxliteracy@engage.org. Venues will be notified of the outcome of their application in early March 2021.