“First Story started for me with the Young Writers’ Festival. It was about me being a writer who had a voice, who could write something and be able to share it with everyone.
I got to work hands on with Peter Hobbs, who’s an amazing author and an amazing person. If it wasn’t for his own passion, I feel like it would have been hard for me to find mine again.
I’d be so into it that I’d write something very intimate and very powerful.
Seeing my work published in the anthology was a great experience. Even still today, I still hold a copy in my hand, and I read over it and show my mum again, just to remind her that her son’s a published writer.
My little sister Fatima got really into it too. Letting her read all the things I wrote in the sessions kind of had like a ripple effect on her. She just reaped the rewards as much as I did.
From being the trouble-maker, to being the published author… There’s a long way to go before I end up being where I want to be, but I feel like I can do that, like I can reach that place.
Your potential is infinite and what you put in is what you get out — doing First Story helped me to realise that. I hope that somewhere along the line it helps others too.”
Abdi is a graduate of First Story’s intensive Writer-in-Residence programme who went on to study Law at the University of Southampton.