Jess Tickell, Programme Manager (East Midlands)

Jess is Programme Manager for the First Story programme across the East Midlands. She has worked in the East Midlands arts sector for fifteen years, developing arts programmes in Leicester before a four year stint at Arts Council England, as Programme Manager for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. That was followed by another four years at Writing East Midlands, where she was the Education Manager, finding her creative home and inspiration among the many incredible writers and young people that she worked with there. It was this role that led her to First Story.

Jess is never without a book and quite happy to evangelise at length about her favourites. Her go-to poetry anthology for all moments of challenge is the Staying Alive Trilogy, edited by Neil Astley.