There is pleasure in telling your own story. There is power and agency too. Our transformative provision supports young people’s wellbeing, as it inspires engagement with learning across the curriculum. Discover the benefits of writing creatively for your students in 2021/22.
We’re England’s leading creative writing charity for young people. Our flagship Young Writers Programme pairs professional writers with secondary schools in low-income communities, where they work intensively with a cohort of young people, nurturing creativity, confidence and ability.
Our extra-curricular enrichment provision encourages aspirations as it expands horizons. Participants develop attitudes, skills and behaviours that underpin engagement with learning, and support progress and achievement of 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.”
Every year, we publish exciting new work by talented young writers from under-represented communities.
First Story News
Our annual Six Word Story competition is open to all First Story participating schools. From a shortlist of excellent stories, the editors at Penguin Random House picked this year’s winner.
Five bursary places available to study for a University of Cambridge PGCert in Teaching Creative Writing at its Institute of Continuing Education
In its fifth year, the Rathbones Folio Prize Mentorships scheme pairs six talented First Story alumni with acclaimed writers from the Folio Academy, receiving a year of 1:1 mentoring support to further develop their writing craft.
Watch clips from this summer’s virtual showcase event, which celebrated new writing by five First Story alumni, chosen to be Rathbones Folio Prize Mentees in 2020/21.
Carnegie Medal nominee, Patrice Lawrence MBE has been announced as Ambassador for First Story, England’s leading creative writing charity for young people. Lawrence will champion First Story’s mission to promote the power and pleasure of creative writing to students in low-income communities.
The ongoing pandemic meant our annual summer residential course had to be delivered virtually for a second year — and we smashed it again!
In 2021, First Story facilitated a sixteen-week Young Writers Programme at Haringey Learning Partnership: Commerce House, an alternative provision school and service in Wood Green, London, offering specialised teaching and support to students with complex needs. Commerce House marks the first in a series of programmes First Story will implement across Pupil Referral Units in London, the Midlands and the North.
The fifth annual National Writing Day took place on 23 June 2021, celebrating the power and pleasure of creative writing. This year’s celebrations took place both online and in schools, to ensure as many people as possible had the opportunity to put pen to paper.
First Story are thrilled that one of our founders, Katie Waldegrave has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021. Alongside 1,000 individuals, Katie has been honoured for her outstanding contribution to her community with an MBE. A former teacher, Katie founded First Story in 2008 alongside award-winning author, William Fiennes, with the aim to bring creative …
Together with our partner charities Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, Driver Youth Trust and Fair Education Alliance, we’ve written to The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Education. We’re calling for long term, sustained funding for resources, interventions and experiences for all children and young people, helping them to build the …
Cecilia Knapp and Christina Lewis have produced a series of creative-writing resources for International Women’s Day that can be used in the classroom and beyond. Read their powerful forewords.