Elizabeth took part in the First Story programme at Hull College in 2017/18. She has gone from being someone who, prior to First Story, never wrote creatively, to someone who now attends spoken word and poetry events, where she shares her writing with audiences of 50 and more. Since leaving college, she has been appointed as the Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Hull College’s Student Union.
“I first had knowledge of First Story when one of the art teachers at Hull College came into my English class to explain how the programme could be a great way to share our feelings in writing, and how you can use spoken word to describe your emotions. At first I thought it was something that would never be of interest to me, but before she was done, I found myself walking up to her, telling her that I wanted to give it a go.
I was invited to attend a First Story workshop. When I arrived, I felt quite nervous. I didn’t know what to expect from the others when I read a piece of my writing. But the Writer-in-Residence made everyone feel relaxed, which was something I really appreciated.
First Story gave me the opportunity to be able to write my first piece and the privilege to perform at The Big Malarkey festival. That’s when I felt worthy of my work and when I knew I really wanted to keep writing.
I never imagined myself becoming a writer one day, or having to present my ideas to an audience. It all started just like a dream which has ended up becoming a reality. Writing has enabled me to express my feelings and emotions. Most times, having to express myself verbally can be a challenge. But with writing, it’s like it’s easy to pour out my feelings.
Before I got published as a First Story writer, James Varney took us through the steps of how to make your writing professional and presentable to the reader. He guided us like a great mentor would and at the end it yielded fruitful work.
Getting published as a writer felt amazingly awesome. To see my work published, I felt really proud of myself and that I can achieve anything I put my mind to, despite what the storm might be.
All in all, if you are considering writing, or want to go into writing, I personally would greatly suggest that you do. Writing provides room for your voice to be heard, and it provides you with different types of skills you maybe thought you’d never have, like analytical skills and communication.
Saying yes to beneficial opportunities like writing can be a great thing in life because it takes you way out of your comfort zone. “