• Alan Ward

Becoming writer in residence at Hastings Library


I’m pleased to be able to announce exciting news. I’ve been appointed by East Sussex County Council to be Writer in Residence at Hastings Library between January and March 2018 – and I can’t think of a more exciting way to start the year.

The residency is to tie in with the reopening of the refurbished library in the spring (I’ve had a sneak preview of the building and it’s looking great). The project is part of Advantage East Sussex, funded by a grant from Arts Council England. Advantage East Sussex aims to build on the existing trusted relationships between local people and East Sussex libraries in order to improve the lives of disadvantaged residents and their communities.

For the time being Hastings Library is housed at the Children’s Library, and I’ll be spending a lot of time there – I’ve already met some of the fantastic staff, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them over the course of the residency.

The aims of the residency are to engage with the community of Hastings and get people, particularly young people, writing. I’ll also be learning about the library and writing some creative pieces of my own as the residency goes on, and further blog posts will be published here on my website.

Free creative writing workshops

In the lead-up to the reopening of the library I’ll be running writing workshops with young people in schools and other settings around Hastings. If you’re a teacher, librarian, or you have a willing audience of potential writers aged around 11 to 14 in any setting, please get in touch. The workshops are designed to get participants writing and they are free. Each will be around an hour long but can be tweaked to accommodate your needs. Where possible we’d like to organise a series of sessions with each group of participants. Some participants may even be asked to read at the library’s official opening ceremony. If this sounds like something you might be interested in arranging for your group of young people you can contact me via my contact page.

Moving forwards, the organisers and I hope there will also be some bookable one-to-one sessions (opportunities for poets or short story writers to get feedback on their writing) once the library gets into its newly refurbished building.

Thanks for reading about this news. If you’ve got any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you live in Hastings or nearby, I hope to see you around the library soon.

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© Alan John Ward