Held during the autumn term, our region-specific Connect events are designed to connect young writers with each other and with local education and cultural opportunities where they live. Each event is staged in partnership with a local university, introducing local higher education possibilities, as well as inspiring young people’s creativity and aspiration.
East Midlands Connect
On 13th December 2021, 49 young writers from three First Story schools in the East Midlands — Winstanley School in Leicester, the Dukeries Academy in Ollerton, and Nottingham Academy – travelled to take part in our Connect event at Nottingham Trent University. The day included a tour of the campus, plus a Q&A session with current undergraduates. There was a lot of time to practice creative writing too (of course!), with the opportunity to meet and work with some new and different professional writers.
Participants were filmed and interviewed about their experience by a crew from ITV Central News, with the story featured on local news programmes. We think the ITV package provides a good summary of why we do Connect events, and the impact they can have on young people.
Used with kind permission of ITV Central News.
We also staged a Connect event in London during autumn 2021/22. On 30th November, First Story participants in the capital were invited to connect at the University of Greenwich and the Old Royal Navy College. Five local partner schools and 87 young writers attended — more than 60% of participants said they had never visited the historic location before — taking part in creative writing workshops led by London-based writers Cecilia Knapp, Theresa Lola, Dan Simpson and Xanthi Barker.