Since 2014, the School of English has hosted an event in collaboration with the national charity, First Story. First Story works to foster the creative confidence of secondary school pupils by organising creative writing workshops with an established author, playwright or poet in their area.
The First Story events at the University of Nottingham provide an opportunity for the participating East Midlands schools and established writers to come together to celebrate the success of the charity and showcase the creativity of the pupils.
Every academic year, students from the School of English at Nottingham complete voluntary placements as 'Shadow Writers', supporting and delivering creative writing workshops in participating schools, alongside professional writers.
During the First Story event at the University, student volunteers provide tours of the campus’s creative hotspots: the museum, Nottingham Lakeside Arts, Hallward Library, the NSTV (the student union TV station) the Djanogly Gallery, the lake, the New Theatre, and Millennium Gardens. Placement students also contribute to the creative writing workshops led by the professional writers.
Read Emily Talbut's blog about completing a Shadow Writer placement with First Story
At the 2015 event, students produced creative pieces on the theme of dreams and aspirations, some of which were exhibited at the presentation at the end of the day.
The theme of the 2016 event was 'Spring', focusing on new beginnings, aspirations and growth.
For 2017, students were given special 'Explore' passports, which invited them to consider the theme of exploration in new and creative ways.
Our partnership with First Story offers valuable placements for current students and the events are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the creative work produced by local writers, secondary school students, and our current English students. The School would like to thank all the students who, over the past few years, have helped to make such a fantastic event possible.
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