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This has been my first year as a writer-in-residence for First Story and working with the group at Nottingham Emmanuel School has been a hugely enjoyable and inspiring experience. As a writer of YA novels I visit many schools to do one-off workshops but it’s been such a gift to work with the same students over six months. The weekly workshops give students the time to explore and develop their unique voices. The fact that sessions are free from everyday school pressure, helps them to be relaxed and enjoyable. I’ve felt inspired by the students’ ability to dig deep into their imaginations and their experiences. They’ve embraced opportunities such as The Young Writers’ Festival, workshops at Nottingham University, writing at Bromley House and performing at ‘The Lyric Longue’. They’ve created a wonderful anthology that’s bursting with moving, witty, quirky, delightful and delightfully dark pieces. I’m so proud of my First Story students and can’t wait for others to read their work and celebrate their achievements at the launch. I’m hopeful that they’ll continue to nurture their talent and spread their passion to others.
Paula Rawsthorne, First Story writer-in-residence
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