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 writing expertise to schools in low-income communities. The current Founder and Director of Now Teach, Katie commented:
Katie’s entrepreneurial vision, understanding of education and commitment to inclusion, combined with William Fiennes’ understanding of the power of creative writing, has created a unique charity that has gone from strength to strength and is now the leading creative writing charity for young people. Over the past twelve years First Story has worked in over 170 schools, supporting thousands of students from less privileged backgrounds to write creatively for pleasure and agency. It has grown from a London-based organisation to one which now works in four regions across England including East Midlands and Yorkshire. First Story students’ work has been presented in literature festivals including Bradford and Cheltenham, as well as on BBC Radio. Several students have gone on to win places on residential courses in partnership with the Arvon Foundation and writing mentorships as part of the Rathbones Folio Prize Mentorship. Others have gained the confidence to win places at university and found publishing presses.