Our Vision and Mission
We’re working towards a society that encourages and supports young people from all backgrounds to write creatively for pleasure and agency. We believe there is dignity and power in being able to tell your own story and that writing can transform lives. Our programmes equip young people with the skills and confidence to tell their stories well and to thrive in education and in life.
William Fiennes and Katie Waldegrave met in 2007, when Katie was a teacher at a state secondary and William was the Writer-in-Residence at a fee-paying school. Together they developed a plan to bring William’s writing expertise into Katie’s under-resourced school. Based on the success of this pilot project, a year later the pair founded First Story. They set out to provide high-quality creative writing opportunities for young people in schools in low-income communities, to employ the best UK writing talent, and to equip teachers. More than a decade later, our mission remains the same, and we’re changing more lives through writing than ever.
We are incredibly grateful for the support of our Patron, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall
Our Charitable Objectives
- To advance the education of students in secondary schools in low-income communities by providing facilities for education in creative writing that aren’t required to be provided by the local education authority.
- To help young people advance in life by providing support, opportunities and activities which foster their creativity, literacy and talent, in order to build self-confidence, skills and aspiration so they may grow to full maturity as individuals and members of society.
- To promote the arts and, in particular, literature, poetry and creative writing, by inviting, commissioning and maintaining the services of British writers (whether such services require payment or otherwise), and by encouraging and assisting in the promotion, advancement and publication of the works of British writers.
Our Progress so far
We’re proud to have acclaimed writers and public figures advocating for and championing our work – inspiring the thousands of young people we serve.