Announcing the appointment of Antonia Byatt as Chief Executive

We’re delighted to announce the appointment of Antonia Byatt as Chief Executive. Antonia, who is currently Director of English PEN and was a First Story trustee for two years, will take over from the Interim Executive Director, Linda Craig, on 1 July 2019.

Antonia brings over 20 years’ experience in senior roles across a wide range of cultural, education and government organisations, including Cheltenham Festivals, Arts Council England, London Metropolitan University and the South Bank Centre. First Story ran a thorough search process for the role, and Antonia was the stand-out candidate among an impressively strong field.

Ed Baden-Powell, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: ‘Antonia has brought tremendous expertise and insight to the First Story board of trustees over the past two years, and we are delighted that she has now agreed to become our new Chief Executive. Having worked closely with her, I am confident that her energy, enthusiasm and huge experience make her the perfect candidate to lead the charity through our next stage of development.

‘On behalf of everyone at First Story, I would like to thank Linda Craig for everything she has done as our Interim Executive Director since October last year, and will continue to do until Antonia takes over in July. She has been guiding the charity into a very strong position, and we wish her all the very best for the future.’

Antonia Byatt said: ‘In the two years I have been involved with First Story, I have been privileged to see the impact of the charity’s unique programme, which has grown and flourished hugely since it was founded ten years ago. I believe passionately in the power of words for young people, and when the chance came to lead this amazing organisation, I was delighted to apply for the role. I am really excited to have the chance to take First Story’s work into the next phase and to change more lives through writing.’

Linda Craig said: ‘I would like to thank everyone at First Story for the opportunity to work with them in my interim role. This is a great organisation with a unique and powerful mission, and I am delighted to be playing a part in bringing the First Story programme to young writers across the UK.’

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