“I didn't like [the sessions], I loved them.”
Beginning over the summer of 2020, the Write On! programme is an ongoing project offering invaluable opportunities for young people to build self-confidence and use writing as a tool for self-expression. Working with a cohort of dedicated mentors from the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University, the programme delivers workshops in fiction and poetry with series ranging from six to nine weeks. The project has been actively been collaborating with a range of organisations and schools across Oxfordshire to reach, in particular, vulnerable young people aged 11-20 who experience barriers in life, including young carers and teenagers in foster care.
The programme offers a friendly and supportive environment where children and young people can explore and develop their creative voices. An important output of the project is that participants are given the opportunity to have their own work included in a published booklet, which highlights the value of each young person's writing.
This project has been made possible by funding from Doris Field, Oxfordshire Community Foundation, and Oxford City Council.
Over 2022 and 2023, Write On! aims to amplify its presence and reach participants across Oxfordshire through the development of the Creative Writing Hub which will offer regular and accessible in-person creative writing workshops to young people, alongside the current individual series. This includes termly programmed workshops and a 1:1 development writing scheme with mentors.
More information will be released over the course of the year.
“It's been so amazing”
Over February and March of 2021, Write On! delivered a six-week series of virtual workshops to a group of young carers in partnership with BFYC. The workshop explored a variety of writing exercises and engaged discussions to investigate - what makes a good story or an evocative poem? And how do we write them?
Fusion Arts has partnered with the Children in Care Council to deliver a number of six-week virtual series of weekly creative writing workshops to a range of children and young people in foster care aged 11-15. Since May 2021, Write On! mentors have delivered three series and a further two series will run from January to April 2022. These lively sessions explore different writing forms and techniques in poetry and storytelling, allowing young people to draw on their own experience and imagination.
From November 2021 to January 2022, Write On! mentors delivered creative writing sessions to children and young people aged 8 – 16 over nine weeks, as part of Oxfordshire Youth Enterprise’s Name It Project weekly open access group. These dynamic, interactive sessions took place in person at the community space in Barracks Lane in East Oxford and engaged participants in a range of activities, from poetry and fiction games to storytelling around the bonfire.
In partnership with EMBS college, Write On! mentors delivered creative writing sessions to students aged 15-18 from November 2021 to January 2022. Over the nine-week series, the mentors worked with a group of GCSE and functional skills students, including those re-entering education, on a variety of exciting activities exploring poetry and storytelling to ignite the imagination and allow students to hone writing and creative skills.
Fusion Arts has collaborated with Oxford Hub on Oxford Moving Forward Together, a year-long community project which aims to bring together students and local residents through a series of interactive creative workshops. Together with the Museum of Oxford and Arts at the Old Fire Station, the workshops will run from January to April 2022 and explore themes of food and sustainability, community, and education to reflect and reimagine the future of Oxford.
Write On! tutors Meg and Stefano with EMBS teacher Samina
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