Creative writing develops a unique mix of skills and attitudes to support learning and prepare young people to thrive
The craft of writing fosters experimentation, risk and resilience.
It cultivates curiosity and play, while teaching discipline and persistence. Writing regularly promotes mental health and wellbeing, as much as it furthers literacy and attainment.
There is pleasure in telling your own story. There is power and agency too.
Like nothing else, young people can find their unique voice, discover themselves and define their world through writing.
Yet half of young people say they enjoy writing ‘only a bit’ or ‘not at all’
Writing among young people has been in decline for a decade. Emphasis on assessment in the curriculum takes the joy out of writing for pleasure. Creativity and imagination are undervalued, with too few opportunities for students to practise writing for its own sake.
Young people from low-income backgrounds, in particular, are less likely to have access to high-quality creative learning. With fewer opportunities to participate, their voices feel less valued, while their stories go unheard.
Every young person, regardless of their start in life, deserves to reap the benefits of a rich creative education.
When we nurture more diverse voices, society benefits too.
First Story changes lives through writing
We place professional writers into secondary schools serving low-income communities, where they work intensively with students and teachers to foster confidence, creativity and writing ability.