First Story’s flagship programme pairs professional writers with secondary schools in low-income communities, where they work intensively with students and teachers to develop creativity, confidence and ability.
Our intensive, extra-curricular enrichment provision encourages aspirations as it expands horizons. Participants develop skills and attitudes that underpin academic attainment and support achieving potential.
“First Story is a fantastic idea. Teenagers are under increasing pressure to tailor their work to exams, and to value themselves in terms of the results. First Story offers young people something else. It helps them find a voice. Creative writing can change people’s lives; I’ve seen it happen. It’s more than learning a skill. It’s about learning that you, your family, your culture and your view of the world are rich and interesting and important, whoever you happen to be.”
Partners and Supporters
National Writing Day 2020 takes place on 24 June. With most young people at home due to the pandemic, this year’s programme is being delivered digitally. Our NWD 2020 resource bank includes nine, feature-length creative writing video tutorials led by talented First Story Writers-in-Residence. We’ve been encouraging users on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to give the tutorials a try and post new writing online. Here we highlight a small selection of the pieces shared during May via the hashtag #WriteFromHome.
The impressive line-up of literary talent helping us celebrate National Writing Day 2020 includes: current and former Children’s Laureates, Cressida Cowell and Malorie Blackman; Scotland’s National Poet, Jackie Kay; Carnegie medal-winning screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce; best-selling author Mark Haddon; writer and illustrator Laura Dockrill; poet Caroline Bird; playwright Vinay Patel; and children’s author SF Said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap for attainment, but has also robbed a generation of valuable social and emotional learning.
We’re really excited to announce the winners of the 2019 100-Word Story Competition judged by the lovely folks at Vintage books.
With current government advice in mind, First Story’s Chief Executive, Antonia Byatt, responds to the uncertainty surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19.
On Tuesday 18th February, First Story were proud to present the launch of We Are Strong – an anthology of work written by a group of inspiring young women who powerfully opened up about the world around them.
We ran a new competition this year – Regional Writing Stars – created to highlight and celebrate regional voices and stories.
Ofsted recently published its Annual Report for 2018/19, the year it introduced its new education inspection framework and sparked fresh debate about what works best to tackle disadvantage. Our Chief Executive shares her thoughts.