BBC Radio 4 Appeal

Listen here to Robert Webb on why he has chosen to support First Story:


You can tune in to the appeal itself on the radio at FM 92.4 – 94.6, LW 198 on Thursday 21st December at 15.26 and on BBC iPlayer until Sunday 24th December.


‘Building for the future: trade staff on diversity’, The Bookseller, November 2017. The Bookseller spoke to seven panelists, including First Story’s Executive Director Mónica Parle, about their experiences of inclusivity in the sector, and what steps can be taken to accelerate change. Read the article here.

‘Pupils write for joy, not for results’Schoolsweek, April 2017. Schoolsweek interview First Story’s Managing Director Mónica Parle on the importance of giving young people the freedom to write outside of an exam environment. Read the article here.

‘Folio Prize Foundation launches mentorships programme with First Story’, The Bookseller, March 2017. The Bookseller describes First Story’s exciting new partnership with the Folio Prize Foundation. Read the article here.

‘Duchess lost for words during writing competition’, Hull Daily Mail, February 2017. The Hull Daily Mail reports on First Story’s launch in Hull schools, held at The Deep submarium. View the article here.


  • ‘An Interview with First Story’, Give A Book, October 2016. Give A Book catches up with Jay, First Story’s Programme Officer for London and former First Story student. Read the interview here.
  • ‘On the write path’, Roger Tagholm, The Bookseller, April 2016. In its London Book Fair Special, The Bookseller reports on how First Story,  The London Book Fair’s Charity of the Year 2016, is helping students to find their voices. Read the full article here.
  • ‘Frontier’s pro bono work helps charity First Story developing its evaluation framework’, Frontier Economics, March 2016. Frontier Economics explains how they have been helping us to evaluate the impact of the First Story programme. Read the full article here.
  • ‘Emily Blagrove wins First Story 100 Word Competition’, Katherine Cowdrey, The Bookseller, February 2016. The Bookseller Magazine reports on our 100 Word Competition, judged by Vintage Books. Read the full article here.
  • ‘All you need is your inner self’, Emily Webb, RSL Review, January 2016: Our Interim Executive Director, Emily Webb, discusses the value of First Story and our enriching partnership with the Royal Society of Literature. Read the full article here.
  • ‘From Nepal to Oxford, there’s no place like home’, Sian Griffiths, 1 March 2015: Our First Story National Writing Competition winner was published in The Sunday Times. Read Mukahang Limbu’s prize-winning poem and accompanying article by Education Editor Sian Griffiths here.
  • ‘Writing can be a source not just of pleasure but of power’, 8 Februrary 2015: William Fiennes talks about First Story in The Sunday Times. Read the full article here.
  • ‘Success stories’, 30 January 2015: First Story students from Feversham College were featured on Woman’s Hour (BBC Radio 4). Listen to their stories here.
  • ‘The storytellers’, November 2014: Tim de Lisle talks about First Story in Intelligent Life.
  • ‘First Story Reception at Downing Street’, 14 November 2014: Sasha Slater writes about our reception hosted by Frances Osborne in Harper’s Bazaar.
  • ‘Happy ever after’, August 2013: as we celebrate our fifth anniversary at Clarence House, William Fiennes talks about First Story in Harper’s Bazaar.
  • ‘Dave Eggers – We tend to look anywhere but the mirror’, 26 January 2013: Dave Eggers, author and founder of 826 Valencia, mentions First Story in The Observer.
  • ‘Jamie’s field of dreams’, 10 July 2012: Mark Frary writes about First Story and Katie Waldegrave and other inspiring Teach First ambassadors starting their own charities in The Times.
  • ‘Amol Rajan: Help us to run up some funds for two great causes’, 24 May 2012: Amol Rajan writes about First Story and the ‘heroic’ Katie Waldegrave and William Fiennes in the Independent.
  • ‘Writing Really can change lives’, 18 November 2010: Co-founder William Fiennes, and First Story writers Salena Godden, Kate Clanchy and Jon McGregor talk about First Story in the Independent.
  • ‘The education work of First Story – working with students and teachers in school’, October 2010: Katie Waldegrave writes about First Story’s work in the National Association for the Teaching of English’s English Drama Media magazine.
  • ‘Creative writing as literacy intervention’, 24 June 2010: The Guardian writes about First Story, Dave Eggers, and creative writing as literary ‘intervention’.
  • ‘The week in books’, 20 September 2008: William Fiennes writes about First Story in The Guardian.
  • ‘Tim Pears on leading after-school creative writing workshops’, 3 April 2010: Tim Pears writes about his experiences as First Story Writer-in-Residence in The Guardian.
  • ‘Storytelling at school’, 25 September 2008: John Humphreys hears about First Story on the BBC Today Programme.
  • ‘Don’t write them off’, 8 August 2008: Irena Barker writes about First Story in the Times Educational Supplement.

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East Midlands

  • ”First Story really is changing lives through writing’, Charles Kenyon, Third Sector Magazine, October 2016. Third Sector Magazine reports on First Story’s exciting plans to grow in Lincolnshire. Read the full article here.
  • William Ivory gives students lesson of a lifetime on Nottingham tram’, Dan Russell, The Nottingham Post, July 2016. First Story is partnering with the Nottingham tram network on an exciting project that gets students writing stories about Nottingham to be shared within the local community. Read the full article here.
  • ‘Babington College student visits Downing Street’, 24 Nov. 2014: an article about First Story student Hibo who got the opportunity to visit 10 Downing Street in the Leicester Mercury.
  • ‘Nottingham teen meets Duchess of Cornwall’, 24 April 2013: Read about our fifth anniversary tea party at Clarence House in This is Nottingham.
  • ‘Nottingham schools benefit from philanthropic literature initiative’, 5 July 2012: The First Story book launch at Ellis Guilford School get a mention in the Left Lion.
  • ‘Poetry helps children in hospital to talk about their experiences’, 6 October 2012: Read about the First Story book launch at Nottingham Children’s Hospital in This Is Nottingham.
  • ‘Healing power of the written word’, 28 December 2011: Mahendra Solanki’s group at Nottingham Children’s Hospital gets a moving write-up in the Nottingham Post.
  • ‘Young people’s story anthology’, 23 September 2011: The Nottingham Children’s Hospital is featured on the This is Nottingham website.
  • ‘Young news hounds have talent to sniff out a story’, 22 June 2011: Nottingham Post reporter Erik Petersen meets First Story students at Ellis Guilford School.
  • 19 February 2011: Watch First Story students reading their stories and poetry on the This Is Nottingham website.
  • ‘Students work with city’s award-winning author on new writing programme’, 21 January 2011: Nicola Monaghan’s group at Nottingham University Samworth Academy feature in the Nottingham Post.
  • ‘New scheme teaches art of storytelling to students’, 14 January 2011: Read about First Story in the East Midlands in the Nottingham Post.
  • First Story’s Programme Manager in the East Midlands, Sarah Stubbingswrites about her role in the Nottingham Post.
  • ‘Writers start new literacy scheme in Nottinghamshire’, 17 September 2010: First Story’s arrival in East Midlands and Nottingham is reported in the BBC news.


  • ‘Courtauld Public Programmes Collaborates with First Story’, Hannah Dixon, The Courtauld Blog, November 2016. Dixon describes a fantastic day of First Story students writing at the Courtauld Gallery. Read the article here.
  • ‘There’s Always One’, Ross Raisin, The Cranford Annual Review, October 2016. Writer-in-residence Ross Raisin reflects on a year of writing with the Cranford First Story students. Read the article here.
  • ‘One Day in the City’, The London Review of Books, May 2016. First Story is delighted that the prize-giving event for our 2015 National Writing Competition will form a part of One Day in the City, UCL’s bi-annual celebration of London and Literature. The brilliant line-up for the day has been featured in The London Review of Books. Read the programme here.
  • Our patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to Holland Park School, where she met some First Story students, is featured in The Kensington Magazine, March 2015.
  • ‘Writers discover ‘passion for poetry’ at Forest Gate Community School’, 1 July 2014: Anna Silverman writes about the anthology launch at one of our First Story schools in the Newham Recorder.
  • ‘Camilla hails literacy charity’s fifth anniversary’, 24 April 2013: The Evening Standard and The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall News and Diary report on First Story’s fifth anniversary tea party at Clarence House.
  • ‘My true love gave to me… creativity, self-esteem and joy’, 23 December 2011: National Director Mónica Parle and writers Ben Faccini and Kate Clanchy are interviewed by writer Claire King for her blog.
  • ‘The fantastical First Story Festival’, 30 September 2011: The First Story Festival gets rave reviews in George Green’s School’s newsletter.
  • ‘Behind the creative writing’, 17 January 2011: Londonist writes about First Story’s work in London.


  • ‘Teen writers take honours in global young poets contest’, 4 October 2013: Esme Partridge from the First Story group at Oxford Spires Academy wins the Foyle Young Poets of the Year award. The Oxford Mail reports.
  • ‘Writer has words with a star author’, 25 April 2013: Read about First Story’s fifth anniversary tea party at Clarence House in the Oxford Mail.
  • ‘Creative pupils launch short story compilation’, 16 June 2012: First Story students at Larkmead school get a mention for their anthology in the Oxford Mail.
  • ‘Pupils’ grief evolves into poetry book’, 22 March 2012: Read about how the First Story group at Oxford Spires Academy turned their grief into a moving anthology of poetry in the Oxford Mail.
  • The Larkmead School Literary Festival, with First Story and Philip Pullman, features in Mostly Books.


  • ‘The Power of Words’, The Yorkshire Post, July 2016. The Yorkshire Post describes the work that First Story is doing in secondary schools in Yorkshire. Read the full article here.
  • ‘Pupils from Bradford schools become published authors thanks to writing scheme’, Telegraph and Argus, July 2016. The young First Story writers in Bradford schools feature in their local newspaper on account of the recent publication of their work in First Story anthologies. Read the full article here.
  • ‘Can creative writing boost pupils confidence?’, 5 Jan. 2015: Sarah Freeman reports on the First Story programme at Feversham College in The Yorkshire Post.
  • ‘Bradford pupils become published authors after year-long reading and writing project’, 3 July 2014, Telegraph & Argus.
  • ‘Arts exhibition set to inspire pupils’ work’, 11 March 2014: First Story students took a trip to the Impressions Gallery in Bradford to seek inspiration, Telegraph & Argus
  • ‘Author gives pupils write ideas’, 18 January 2014: John Siddique’s work at Matthew Moss High School is praised in the Rochdale Observer.
  • First Story launches in Bradford, as reported in the Telegraph & Argus and the Asian Sunday Newspaper.
  • ‘Students become published authors’, 16 June 2015: pupils at Bradford Academy celebrate the launch of their anthology, Telegraph & Argus.


  • ‘Writers aiming to coax out creativity in pupils’, 6 Feb 2015: First Story students visit The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum as part of their First Story programme, in collaboration with Cheltenham Festivals, reports the Gloucestershire Echo and the Arts Council. Listen to BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s coverage of the event here (at 07:45 and 45:30).
  • ‘Hard work pays off as young writers published’, 12 June 2015: First Story students at All Saints Academy celebrate the launch of their anthology, Gloucester Echo.


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Photographs by (C) 2013.