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Apprentice Award 2018

Posted on November 21st, 2017 by Eloise Wales

Word Factory is delighted to announce the launch of our renowned Apprentice Award 2018/19 – this year in collaboration with the Northern Writers’ Awards and New Writing North.

Dedicated to supporting short story writers from every walk of life and to excellence in the short story form, we are seeking four emerging writers to be individually mentored by leading authors, for FREE*. The chosen writers will be talented, supportive of our inclusive ethos and willing to give their time to participating in our activities. There is more…

Coming from Nowhere

Posted on November 21st, 2017 by Eloise Wales

By Ailsa Cox

If ever I’m travelling south, I always point out a stretch of concrete wall along the M6, not far from Hilton Park services. ‘That’s where I grew up,’ I say, ‘right over there.’ There’s nothing to see, nothing more than a glimpse of rooftops, and in an instant Walsall football ground’s flashed by, and the radio masts at Dudley, and before long the Midlands have disappeared. The M6 came after the estate was built, forming another boundary along with the canal, the railway line and the slag heap; the houses that were added on that side of Bloxwich Lane were more modern in design, more compact and somehow two-dimensional. Our house, on Gurney Road, was the standard type that you see everywhere, red brick and practical, with rectangular windows and entries. When I bought my own place, years later, in Manchester, I chose one exactly the same, overlooking the cricket pitch and the meadows; I wrote upstairs, looking out at the view I described in ‘Making It Happen’, ‘the horizon […] lemon-tinted, beneath a deepening violet-blue’. ‘Story Swap’ finishes at the end of the 85 bus route, ‘where the road suddenly comes to a full stop at the edge of the meadows, where the plans for a motorway link have been cancelled’. There is more…

Citizenship by Maureen Freely

Posted on November 10th, 2017 by Eloise Wales

“Where to go when you have nowhere to go, and everyone around you is telling you to leave? For me, it has always been the world of letters. This is where I go to be reminded of what we all share, regardless of where we live or where we come from.”

President of English PEN, Maureen Freely, discusses the question of citizenship, and what that means as a writer in an exclusive piece commissioned by Word Factory and The International Literature Showcase, Norwich Writers’ Centre, for our Citizen Festival. There is more…

We Are All ‘Litizens’

Posted on November 6th, 2017 by Eloise Wales

By Holly Dawson

Even when you have nothing, there is one thing that no one can take – in fact, the more someone tries to take them, the more they unwittingly give you. The answer, of course, is stories. As Doris Lessing said in her Nobel acceptance in 2007, “The storyteller is deep inside every one of us. Let us suppose our world is ravaged by war… Let us suppose floods wash through our cities… The storyteller will be there, for it is our imaginations which shape us, keep us, create us. It is our stories that will recreate us, when we are torn, hurt, even destroyed. It is the storyteller, the dream-maker, the myth-maker…that represents us at our best.’ There is more…

Avani Shah Interviews ‘Writing our Future’ Writer, Rosalind Jana

Posted on November 5th, 2017 by Eloise Wales

2017 Word Factory apprentice, Avani Shah interviews award-winning author, poet and journalist, Rosalind Jana. Rosalind has contributed to Bristol’s youth-led Rife magazine and will be at Word Factory’s ‘Writing our Future’ Citizen Festival event on Nov 11 to talk about the importance of voice and its role in turning young people into active citizens.

What does belonging mean to you?
That’s such a good question. I think belonging, to me, is about inhabiting space – or maybe, more specifically, about knowing that I have a place. One where I fit. Where I feel safe. Belonging is about ease within my own skin, and recognition of the places where I have sought (and found) warmth, home, comfort, conversation, community, and, occasionally, quiet. There is more…