Students chosen for prestigious new Creative Writing Project at Cheltenham Festival

Congratulations to four of Cirencester Sixth Form College’s English students, who have won a place on an exciting new creative writing initiative and mentoring project called ‘Write Now’ at Cheltenham Festivals.

Write Now has been set up by Cheltenham Festivals for young people aged 16-17 years in Gloucestershire. The project links young students with writing mentors through a series of creative workshops over the 2018/19 academic year. Six students were awarded a place on the scheme of which quite outstandingly four of them are from Cirencester College, Megan Griffiths, Lauren Taylor, Cameron Roberts and Adrianna Chalcroft.

The first workshop of six commenced at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. In the second workshop at the Festival offices, the students started working on their creative writing, planning plots and developing characters. The workshops have been joined by two incredibly talented new writers who are acting as mentors to the students; Imogen Downes a performance poet and Polly Denny who has been the Young Poet Laureate for Bath Fringe. All the workshops will culminate in a fantastic opportunity for the students to showcase their own work at the Cheltenham Literature Festival next October.

Head of English, Jo James said, “I am so proud of these 4 students, especially as there were only 6 places available and applications were invited from selected schools and colleges in Gloucestershire. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to develop their creative writing skills and to gain contacts for the future. Adrianna, Cameron, Lauren and Megan have done so well in gaining places on this excellent programme run by Cheltenham Festivals and I wish them well for the year ahead.”

Sarah Forbes, Education Manager for Cheltenham Festivals said, ‘We started the ‘Write Now’ group in recognition that it’s increasingly difficult for young people to access arts education due to cuts in funding for Post 16 education. Recent changes to the A-level curriculum means that there’s no formal route by which young people can develop their creative writing talents. Cheltenham Festivals’ have a unique combination of year-round and festival-specific activity which give us special opportunities to fill the gap and inspire young people at the beginning of their writing journeys. It’s been fantastic to see these talented students from Cirencester College embrace the opportunity to work with our writing mentors and we can’t wait to see them perform on stage at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2019.’

Cameron said, ‘I am really enjoying my experience with the ‘Write Now’ project. It allows me to express my creative side and work alongside talented and enthusiastic writers, which has really improved my writing style.’ Megan added, ‘My experience with the Literature Festival has been nothing but extraordinary. The support and help they have all offered has given me a burst of creativity and confidence with my writing. Thank you for the amazing opportunity Cheltenham Festivals and Cirencester College.’ Lauren said ‘the help, advice and support the ‘Write Now’ family has given me has allowed me to grow as an author!”

If you would like to find out more about this story please contact sara.popp@cirencester.ac.uk, if you would like to find out more about English courses at Cirencester Sixth Form College take a look at our websitewww.cirencester.ac.uk.