In 2018, we received a grant from ACE (via Ambition for Excellence) to develop and roll out a new programme of work that aims to champion Writing for All across the upper regions of the South West. Since receiving this grant, we’ve been consulting with potential partners and working behind the scenes to develop our new programme. Following this period of development on July 2nd 2019, we’ll launch Season One of our new programme alongside our new Writing for All manifesto.
The new Paper Nations Writing for All programme focuses on diversity. Our vision is for a culture in which writing is accessible to everyone, no matter their experience, background or interests. We believe that diversity leads to greater innovation within the industry. We want to work with ‘change makers’ to create space for new writing and to introduce audiences to new authors and new forms of writing, both within and beyond the traditional book.
In the upper regions of the South West, there are places where writing is flourishing, but there are also areas where talent is dormant and potential is unfulfilled. The new Paper Nations Writing for All programme will support writers, producers and literature organisations to realise their ambitions, championing Bath, Corsham and Weston-Super-Mare as ‘destinations’ for writing.
As part of our pre-production phase, we’ve been consulting with people and organisations working in the upper regions of the South West. In March and April, we’ll conclude this pre-production phase with a series of in-depth interviews and an audit of existing writing provision and activity. We want to hear your views on diversity and learn more about what’s happening within the region.
The new programme will also build from the success and the network of partnerships forged through our first programme. For example, we’ll use the Dare to Write Atlas as a platform to make the South West England visible as key destination for writing, presenting information to locals and tourists about what’s happening in the writing world across the South West. We’ll also open the doors of the Dare to Write Academy to provide ongoing training and inspiration for authors, tutors, community builders, and change makers.
The final part of our pre-production activity for our new Writing for All programme will involve a rebrand of the Paper Nations website, and an unveiling the new platform on July 1st as part of our Season One launch.
In its new guise, Paper Nations will operate as a commissioning and co-production entity, bringing people and organisations together to create new work, connect communities, and champion writing. Our vision is for an inclusive writing ecology across the upper regions of the South West – a culture of excellence in participation, where industry, education and arts work together to support diverse writers.
(Photographs commissioned by Paper Nations and taken by Tom Dodd at the Small Publishers Gathering)