Writing for All: Major programme launched to break down the barriers to writingWednesday, 3 July, 2019
“Paper Nations wants writing to be available, both as a craft and a career, to all people, regardless of age, background, or level of experience. We want to connect communities of support for creative writing” - Bambo Soyinka
Writing for All, a three-year programme, has been launched at Bath Spa University’s MIX Conference at Corsham Court on 1 July 2019. Writing for All will get people writing and make lasting change in the writing industry, so that writers from all backgrounds are supported and new forms of writing are given the chance to succeed.
Supported by Costa Prize winner, Nathan Filer, and other authors such as Fay Weldon, Kit De Waal and David Almond, Writing for All will work with regional providers and the creative industries to address issues of diversity, inclusion and innovation.
The programme is run by Paper Nations, a creative writing incubator based at Bath Spa University and funded by Bath Spa University and Arts Council England. Bambo Soyinka is Executive Development Producer of Paper Nations and Professor of Story at Bath Spa University:
“Activities such as sport and drama are well catered for, but not writing. There’s talent and enthusiasm but few opportunities for people to get support without paying large sums of money. People are put off, thinking it’s not for them or they can’t do it. But good writing takes time, and needs practice and support. Words and language are essential to our way of life, and anyone can enjoy writing. That’s why we created Writing for All: to break down the barriers to writing, to explore new forms of digital writing, and to challenge the publishing and commercial industries to evolve and get involved.
“Paper Nations wants writing to be available, both as a craft and a career, to all people, regardless of age, background, or level of experience. We want to connect communities of support for creative writing,” said Professor Soyinka.
Over three years, Writing for All will offer a range of opportunities for writers and ways to collaborate with writers from all backgrounds, at all levels, and in a range of forms: from published authors to the complete beginner, and those working in digital and hybrid forms of writing. Paper Nations is looking for educators, publishers, and all members of the writing community to get in touch and get involved.
During their first season, the Call for Action, Paper Nations will release opportunities such as: cash commissions to support writers, writing meetups and spaces in which to write, access to mentoring and support, courses, publication opportunities, networking events, and much more. Calls to take part will be released across 2019-2020.
“Having worked for years promoting inclusion and equality and having founded the first Kit de Waal Scholarship, I’m acutely aware of the necessity for initiatives that target marginalised writers. All writers face hurdles, but writers from disadvantaged communities often face additional barriers of finance, education, support, networking and acceptance by the mainstream, to say nothing of gatekeeping processes that institutionally compound their difficulties. The Paper Nations Writing for All programme seeks to recognise talent, provide writers with the tools to progress and help them gain mainstream recognition and success,” says Kit de Waal.
Paper Nations invites people to get in touch and get involved by reading more about Writing for All on their website.