Students from several year groups have worked with a professional writer to produce an anthology of short stories and poetry called When The Pages Decay. The anthology was produced in partnership with First Story, a national literacy charity whose aim is to encourage children to feel confident about their writing.
Over the 2019-20 academic year, 21 students took part in a number of after-school creative writing workshops with First Story writer-in-residence Joe Marsh. Joe is a published playwright whose most recent play, Shame Circle, was longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize in 2019.
The anthology collects 42 poems and short stories written by the students on subjects from their families to fears over climate change. Copies of When The Pages Decay are commercially available, and a copy will even be archived at the British Library.
Over the course of the First Story programme, students also had the opportunity to submit their work to a range of creative writing competitions. Erin Bishop excelled here, placing in the national shortlist for the 6-word-story competition and coming third overall in the 100-word-story.
Meanwhile Matilda Wiggins won a full bursary to take part in the First Story virtual summer residential, a week-long programme for a small group of young writers to work with a team of First Story authors.
Richard Gidlow, Key Stage 3 Lead at Landau Forte College Derby, said:
“What I can be certain of is their talent. It is something that can never be taken from them. It is something that will always grow and never fade.
“They bring us hope. They bring us a new perspective. We couldn’t be prouder!”
Alison Brannick, Principal at Landau Forte College Derby, said:
“We are so proud of all the students who took part in this project and their terrific writing. The finished anthology is a fantastic example of what our students can accomplish, with some incredibly powerful writing. It is great to see there is so much creative talent at the school, and I’m very excited to see what our writers come up with next!”