First time writers from Chelsea Academy will soon release an anthology, Some Ideas, featuring a collection of stories, plays, and poetry. It has been written by twenty students, aged between 12 and 16 years old, who have channeled their creativity into exploring different emotions and genres, learning to express who they are. The project is run by First Story, a charity which aims to change lives through writing. The anthology launch will take place on the 12th July 2018, at Nomad Books on Fulham Road.
The pupils have been working for 36 weeks, putting all their efforts into creating unique pieces, as well as entering competitions and attending a writing course in the Lumb Bank Arvon Centre, the home of Ted Hughes. First Story has given these young people the chance to explore their passion for writing by working with a professionally published author, helping them to broaden their knowledge of literature such as writing epithets and Ghazils. Darragh Martin, a children’s author, was placed in Chelsea Academy as the Writer in Residence to help the students of Chelsea Academy with their pieces, and has assisted them throughout the process, from editing work to introducing new genres to the group.
This event showcases stories from the anthology, ranging from a self-aware book character to the tragedy of child exploitation, and explores the reality of young people today. The launch is dedicated to this diversity; for example, samples of food such as Sulu Köfte (the Turkish dish featured in a piece) will be available for the audience to try. The students will also perform their pieces, and speak to the audience about the writing process and how their piece is important to them.
The launch will also be a celebration of the progress made by these students throughout the year. First Story works not only to transform students academically, but to develop transferable skills through organising the launch itself and improving in areas such as public speaking. First Story reported that “82% of students saw creative writing as worthwhile because it helped them learn new things”, and at Chelsea Academy the benefits of the programme are clearly visible. Many of the students who took part in the Arvon residential noted that it helped them to find themselves and make new friends, whilst also allowing them to evolve as writers and realise the importance of different types of literature. The Academy’s teachers who helped to produce the anthology, Miss McMillan and Mr Brice, reported that, “Working with the First Story Programme has had a genuine impact on the students. It has been a pleasure to see their writing skills, confidence and self-belief grow week on week, and to celebrate in their successes – from completed pieces, to competition prizes, to their first published anthology!” Moreover, the pupils have also expressed their enjoyment, saying that, “It’s a great opportunity for us to show our talent and is a fantastic experience. It gives a big boost to your confidence!”
The students of Chelsea Academy invite you to the launch of Some Ideas which will be held on the 12th of July 2018 at 6:30pm at Nomad Books (781 Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW7 5HA).
Tickets will be £2 per person and available to buy at the Chelsea Academy reception (Chelsea Academy, Lots Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0AB).