Our new Young Ambassadors Programme is an exciting supported volunteering opportunity for alumni keen to continue their engagement with creative writing. It puts young people at the heart of promoting creative writing within their schools and local communities.
In its fourth year, the Rathbones Folio Prize Mentorships scheme pairs four 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.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, this summer, our annual residential programme took place virtually. With participants connecting entirely online, we managed to maintain almost all of the key elements that make this project so special and impactful.
For a recent virtual roundtable, we asked three prominent figures in arts and education, Prof. Dame Alison Peacock, Kate Clanchy MBE, and the Young Vic’s Lorna McGinty: What needs to be in place for the schools sector to ensure high quality, holistic literacy provision which has long term impact on outcomes for all children?
Three writers – Ashley Hickson-Lovence, Bridget Minamore, and Khadijah Ibrahiim – have produced a series of creative-writing resources for Black History Month that can be used in the classroom and beyond. Read their powerful forewords.
After months of lockdown and Zoom meetings, our CEO got to attend a First Story anthology launch in person earlier this month —albeit socially-distanced—when she went along to St Gabriel’s College in South London, to help students celebrate the publication of their new anthology ’20:20 Vision’.
National Writing Day 2020 was framed around a mass participation creative writing exercise, the #247Challenge. As a call to action, it proved to be incredibly popular, with thousands of stories and poems shared online. Here we have collated just a few of the incredible submissions we read.
First Story alumni can apply until the 31 July 2020 to take part in the 20/21 Rathbones Folio Mentorships programme, for a chance to work for a year with an acclaimed pro author. Two of this year’s mentees, Mariamah Davey and Nidaa Raoof, share their reasons to get involved.
Throughout 2019-20, we’ve been working in partnership with Unislam, the National Slam Poetry Festival, to place Unislam artists as ‘shadow writers’ in First Story schools. Jess Tickell caught up with one of these shadow writers, Sophie Horton.
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.