As part of activities during 2023 to celebrate First Story’s milestone 15th birthday, we launched a unique literary auction on 9 October, Six Word Stories. Featuring handwritten, signed and framed stories by a collection of acclaimed authors, the public auction ran online until 2 November.
With huge thanks to everyone who placed a bid, our first ever Six Word Stories auction raised a fantastic £16,835. These funds will support delivery of our flagship Young Writers Programme in 2024, benefiting young people in underserved communities to develop their voices, hone their writing craft, and have their work professionally published.
All of the stories in our auction sold, with an average sale price of £580. The best-selling piece in the collection was Linton Kwesi Johnson’s “We fite dem back an’ win”, which in the final hour of the auction became the object of a bidding war! The winning bidder paid an incredible £1,750. In all, four stories – by Linton, Edmund de Waal, Julian Barnes and Neil Gaiman – sold for upwards of £1,000.
First Story is incredibly grateful to all of the generous writers who donated their time, talent and creative work to make our first ever Six Word Stories auction possible: David Baddiel, Julian Barnes, Jessie Burton, Tracy Chevalier, Edmund de Waal, Louise Doughty, Inua Ellams, Diana Evans, Neil Gaiman, Nikita Gill, Joanne Harris, Tom Holland, Alan Hollinghurst, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jackie Kay, Patrice Lawrence, Val McDermid, Nadifa Mohamed, Sir Michael Morpurgo, Kate Mosse, David Nicholls, James Patterson, Max Porter, Ian Rankin, Meg Rosoff, Elif Shafak, Kamila Shamsie, Francesca Simon, Dame Rose Tremain and Alex Wheatle.
We are also grateful to our framing partner for the auction, Green & Stone of Chelsea, for all their support.
If you missed out on this year’s auction, it’s not too late to support First Story’s transformative programmes. Please consider making a donation via our website. Your gift will assist young people who need our support the most to find their voices and be heard. Thank you.