Cash boost to help reveal young writing talent in Doncaster and Sheffield


Budding writers are to receive help and encouragement from professionals, thanks to a cash injection from the Arts Council.

A sum of £600,000 will support an organisation called First Story to inspire youngsters with creative writing workshops in seven centres including Doncaster and Sheffield.

First Story will work with students and teachers to spark creativity along with communication skills. Their fun, intensive workshops will be based in low income communities, to help raise the aspirations of the young. A new National Writing Day will be launched, aimed at involving every child of school age.

Sustained creative writing activity has been seen to improve children’s attainment in English. It is also the bedrock of art forms such as poetry, fiction, play scripts, lyrics, and screenplays.

Emily Webb, Head of Programmes at First Story, said: “We are delighted to receive this grant from Arts Council England. This funding will allow us to reach more students in the North by bringing more talented writers into school. We have seen the positive impact that bringing writers in to secondary schools serving low-income communities can achieve, and we’re hugely excited about the opportunity this grant represents.”

Typically, writers-in-residence will lead weekly after-school workshops, with anthologies launched at public events. But an annual Young Writers’ Festival and more will also encourage Yorkshire’s young talent.