Our Story






Former teacher Katie Waldegrave and the writer William Fiennes met in the autumn of 2007 and fell into conversation about Fiennes’s work as Writer-in-Residence at a fee-paying school in London. William had observed the life-changing impact that writing workshops had on his students, and they decided to bring the benefits of creative-writing to the students at Katie’s school. Of course, not every school can afford to have a writer-in-residence. William and Katie started First Story in the hope of bringing such an opportunity to state schools around the country.

2008 First Story becomes a registered charity. Eight creative-writing residencies take place in eight London schools.

2009 First Story launches three residencies in Oxford and holds its first creative-writing residential.

2010 First Story launches in the East Midlands with four residencies.

2011 HRH The Duchess of Cornwall becomes Patron of First Story. First Story holds the first Young Writers’ Festival in Oxford.

2013 First Story celebrates its fifth birthday and launches the programme in four schools in Bradford, running a total of 40 residencies in schools across the UK.

2014 First Story forms a partnership with Cheltenham Festivals to launch residencies in three Gloucestershire schools.

Today First Story is running creative writing residencies in 70 schools across the East Midlands, Gloucestershire, Hull, Lancashire, London, the South West and West Yorkshire.

Since 2008 we have had 317 residencies in schools and have worked with more than 4,500 students, 150 acclaimed writers, and more than 4,800 teachers in Continuing Professional Development sessions. Our students have produced more than 100,000 original stories and poems.