Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature has received £60,900 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for its project Eastwood Comics.
For the project, 24 talented young writers and artists will create graphic stories inspired by the life and works of world-renowned author DH Lawrence. These stories will be available to the public for free in the form of a boxed-set of six comic collections.
The young writers’ research will also take in the social and cultural history of Eastwood, where Lawrence was born in 1885. Lawrence, an often controversial, fascinating and complex author, began life as the son of a barely literate miner in the former coal mining town, one of the few places where East Midlands English is widely spoken.
During the project, 700 further young people will learn about the author and his birthplace by taking part in activities inspired by the young writers’ research.
The 24 writers are students at Hall Park Academy, University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University. They will be mentored by acclaimed graphic novelists Rachael Ball, David Hine and Luke Healy, as well as international publisher SelfMadeHero.
They will develop their research skills with heritage professionals from The DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum, The DH Lawrence Manuscripts and Special Collections and The DH Lawrence Research Centre.
The project will culminate in a two-day youth symposium exploring groundbreaking heritage learning programmes and innovative working practices from across the world. Heritage organisations will have the chance to creatively engage with young people during this.
Eastwood Comics is a partnership between Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and Pop Up Projects, DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum, and four education partners.
Nottingham was awarded the permanent UNESCO City of Literature designation in December 2015. The organisation’s mission is to build a better world with words and will help 700 young participants from across the city and Eastwood to get involved in this project.
Commenting on the award, Sandeep Mahal, Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature said: “Ensuring literary heritage plays an active and inspirational role for young people is a key priority for Nottingham City of Literature. We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident the project will support young people to develop a deeper exploration of their local heritage and greater confidence in their own creativity and place”.
Ashfield and Eastwood MP Gloria De Piero said: “I am delighted that this National Lottery funding has been secured for a project that will engage young people from the area with the culture and history of the town. It sounds like a really exciting project and I am so pleased that it has won support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.”