Preston College learners Hannah Bailey, Josh Gore, Stella Omopariola, Hailey Williams and Jonah Johnston (anonymous submission) have become published authors in an online anthology of creative writing stories.
The anthology is created by the Association of Colleges as part of their Creative Writing in Further Education Project, which gives students in FE colleges the chance to create their own piece of creative writing, covering different genres and themes. It is an opportunity for young people to creatively explore issues that are key to them and their peers, alongside building their own creative writing practice and portfolios.
GCSE English lecturers at Preston College have been working with learners and developing new ways to help them improve their creative writing.
Tutor Tammara Lindsay says:
“In 2021 we implemented a freewriting project to help learners develop their creative writing skills. Creative writing can be a challenge and the freewriting project has helped our learners remove barriers and increased their confidence. The quality of their work was fantastic and we simply had to submit it to the AoC’s creative writing project”.
A panel, including representatives from the Copyright Licensing Agency, the English and Media Centre and the Association of Colleges, judged the entries and from the hundreds of submissions selected all five of the Preston College submissions.
The five learners have had their work published in an online anthology and three of those five (Hannah Bailey, Josh Gore and Stella Omopariola) have been selected for the AoC’s first printed journal of short stories.
The stories covered a range of topics and themes, including bullying and forgiveness (Josh Gore’s The Incident), sibling rivalry (Hailey William’s Failing the Challenge) and even a rare mental health condition that entails an extreme or irrational fear of entering open or crowded places (Jonah Johnston’s Agoraphobia).
The students themselves are over the moon. Stella shared, “The project was challenging as I didn’t think I could do it, but my tutor encouraged me and now I have a lot more confidence in my writing. After we submitted the stories, I felt relief but since then it has been really exciting. First, we were told that our stories had been chosen for the online anthology and then we heard that they were going to be printed. I was so happy and proud when I heard the news, I was screaming.”