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© Alan John Ward

Becoming writer in residence at Hastings Library

December 14, 2017

I’m pleased to be able to announce some hugely 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 too – I’ve already met some of its 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 by emailing hastings@alanjohnward.com or send a message via my contact page.

 

Other elements of the residency

 

Moving forwards, we hope there will be some bookable feedback sessions (opportunities for poets or short story writers to get feedback on their writing) once the library gets into its newly refurbished building. There will also be an opening ceremony, where some of the fruits of the residency will be shared, and we hope there will be a lasting legacy that will be found in the library for years to come. I’ll keep the details of that a bit sketchy for now, but I’m kicking around some very exciting ideas with the organisers!

 

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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