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First Story Summer Arvon residential week 2017

Last week saw us take over all three Arvon centres in Devon, Shropshire and West Yorkshire for our First Story Summer Residential. In partnership with Arvon, we were able to bring 48 students from across the country to these beautiful residential centres for an intensive week of creative writing workshops and tutorials with experience Arvon […]

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‘The Elephant’ by Natalie McKnight

This week, we invite you to read Natalie McKnight’s poem, which touchingly emphasises both the preciousness and plight of the elephant. Natalie is part of the First Story group at Appleton Academy in Bradford, where students worked closely with writer-in-residence Nick Toczek to create not only their anthology, but also a CD featuring audio recordings of their […]

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‘Branch’ by Reuben Diamond

All over the country there are groups of newly published authors, proudly opening anthologies that have their work printed inside, who are nervous and eager to share their writing… This is the period when First Story schools are busily hosting launch parties for student anthologies. These events are a chance for the students, staff and […]

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‘Red Light’ by Aziza Brown

Wednesday was a very special day for First Story. We launched the UK’s first ever National Writing Day with partners across the country and we were absolutely blown away with the response. We asked everyone to look out of their windows and write about their view, and we were inundated with stories, poems, dialogues and even raps that gave […]

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‘The Bittersweet Love’ by Winnie Chinyadza

This week’s Friday Story comes from Winnie Chinyadza at Newland School for Girls in Hull, whose writer-in-residence is Young Adult author Kerry Drewery. This life-affirming poem beautifully captures how our concept of the world changes as we grow out of childhood. We hope that it will brighten up this grey Friday afternoon for you. ‘The […]

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‘I Belong to Weston’ by Ellie Davies

Writing succinctly is a skill which even the most established and proficient writers struggle with at times, and writing a powerful piece in 100 words is no mean feat. The winners of this year’s 100 Word Competition, kindly judged and awarded prizes of books by Vintage (an imprint of Penguin Random House), have proven their […]

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‘Aqsal al Awal’ by Sabah Hussein

Last month, First Story was honoured to hold an event at the House of Lords, kindly hosted by Baroness Hogg. The night featured a powerful speech by Rory Stewart MP, who spoke about his personal relationship with writing and its importance for young people.  The event was an opportunity to spread the word about National Writing Day – our campaign to […]

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‘Last Story’ by Kate Fox

Look where our thoughts led, from being lionesses who cannot be tamed, to Game Over, from taking your whole house on holiday to walking together, from words echoing to following her alone. Every finishing line is another place to start, home is and isn’t where we keep our heart. We let each other into our […]

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‘Slave’ by Vincent Otterbeck

‘This poem all sort of rushed out from my head. It’s open to interpretation – I don’t think that there is a definitive theme. But I do identify some feelings within it, such as low self-esteem, obsessive perfectionism, self-discovery and growth. I think that it’s about persisting feelings of inadequacy and a distorted view of […]

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‘I Remember’ and ‘If Love was Water’ by Bilal Razaq

“Write it down.” This is the advice so often given to us when we experience intense feelings, whether they are of happiness, sadness or anxiety. Indeed, the impact of writing about such feelings can be profound: it can provide an outlet for the writer, but it also rewards the reader, who is given a privileged […]

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