We’ve had the absolute pleasure and excitement of collaborating with TJ International to publish The Writers’ Block Anthology. TJ International caught up with Amanda Harris, our Director at KEAP, to discuss the publication:
First of all, tell us about the Writers’ Block and what it does for students in Cornwall.
The Writers’ Block is a space which has been created as a place dedicated to support creative writing in all different forms. Two empty classrooms at Cornwall College Camborne have been transformed by artists and craftspeople into a space which ignites the imagination and is a focused place for people to write. We run programmes for schools, early years, holiday workshops, sessions for special groups and adult sessions. We increasingly run literature inspired events at The Writers’ Block.
The bedrock of The Writers’ Block is school children and our focus on reluctant writers.
How did the idea for the Writers’ Block Anthology come about?
One the key motivators for writing is having an audience for your work. When Hannah Vaughan, from TJ International, suggested that they could print some of the stories which have been generated in The Writers’ Block, we leapt at the chance. What could be more motivating than seeing you work in print?
Why do you think it’s important to get students, particularly those reluctant to writing, engaging with stories?
I firmly believe that if you have a story to tell, one that you have belief in, that you care about, then you will make the effort to write it to the best of your ability. Some children feel that they can’t write, that they have no imagination, they don’t feel good enough, so they give up. Our aim is to unlock their imaginations and give them the confidence to try and then share their stories. When they come to The Writers’ Block, the children are writers. We want them to leave with this sense of self-belief from which their teacher can really help them with the more formal aspects of writing.
Why did you decide to turn the stories into a physical book?
What could be better than a book! So not only is your work in there but there are more than 60 other pieces of writing to read! The children can keep it for ever and also share with their family and friends. I can feel the pride already! It also gives us the chance to do a book launch. I just wish we could have included all the children who attended sessions here, however, it would have been quite a tome… We are also overjoyed to use an illustration by Bex Bourne, a professional illustrator, on the cover which captures some of the energy of the writing on the inside covers.
If people are interested in buying a copy of the Writers’ Block Anthology, how much are they and where can they order them from?
Each young writer is being given a copy. Further copies are available priced £6 plus p&p. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 07771 981094.