What is your favourite piece of work you’ve written and why?

My favourite piece of work is the poem I wrote for my grandmother in my very first anthology for First Story. It was the first poem I had ever written. It allowed me to see my potential, and so made me want to continue to write.

What was your experience of sharing your writing like at the First Story online celebration?

Magical. I had never done anything like it before! I remember feeling terrified to perform in front of strangers. There were butterflies in my tummy, my hands and my voice were shaking so much. But the second I finished my last word, it felt like I could do anything. I was so proud of myself and really surprised that I had done it.

Try new things no matter how new or uncomfortable it may be at first. I never saw myself writing short stories on postcards or posting daily poems on Instagram, but because I tried it, it has become my new favourite thing!

Has your First Story experience influenced what you write about and how you write?

First Story has made me want to convey a message in every poem and story I write because of the way my anthology launch performances made me feel. Each performance made me feel confident and heard in my own voice, and so it reminded me to put an important message in each piece. My first story experience has made my writing more direct and personal to the people reading my work, so that they can relate more.

What do you love most about Nottingham?

I love the small places which have a massive impact on my day to day life. For example my favourite place is Stonebridge City Farm, where I volunteer weekly in the barn. I also love The Grove in Clifton Village where my grand lives. It’s a beautiful area where I can ‘hide’ from the city.

Where is your favourite place to find books?

Definitely charity shops. I love finding a wide variety of books that I wouldn’t have thought of reading before and I love that the money would be going to a good cause.

Where do you like to write?

I like writing on my desk in my bedroom accompanied by my old journals and notebooks, next to my brightly lit lamp when it is quiet. I also enjoy writing in the garden where I am surrounded by the nature, particularly because most of my work is greatly influenced my nature.

Nidaa is a First Story Young Writer

What was the last book you read?

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

What’s next on your reading list?

Listening to the animals by Noel Fitzpatrick

Which writer would you love to meet and why?

Philip Pullman. He is one of my favourite authors to exist! The way he writes can only be described as epic. His writing is so incredibly detailed and has a comforting vibe which makes you want to read his books for hours and hours. The tone of the writing is so heart-warming; all I want is to be part of the story.

What do you like about writing?

It’s an escape from the real world and it’s an entirely different world on its own. I can step away from reality and dive into my hopes and dreams. I think it’s an amazing way to look after mental health as well as keep in touch with our deepest thoughts. My favourite thing about it however, is that we can find ourselves through writing.

What is one piece of advice you received during your First Story mentorship which you would like to share?

To try new things no matter how new or uncomfortable it may be at first. I never saw myself writing short stories on postcards or posting daily poems on Instagram. But because I tried it it has become my new favourite thing and has improved my writing. It’s made sharing my writing feel more comfortable.

Find out more about First Story here.