My journey began with the Mouthy Poetry collective at the age of nine and now over a decade later, manifests in many different ways and alongside multiple organisations. Nottingham City of Literature has been a big part of my journey in ensuring I am able to explore the importance of inclusivity within the creative sector. I first began my journey with them at age 15 as part of the Young Voices Amplified’s ambassadors project where I was able to inform the city's choice for the first round of Big City Reads. Projects which actively broke down the barrier between literature and the everyday lives of young people. I then applied for the pioneering project of the Nottingham City of Literature Youth Advisory Board which I was lucky enough to chair. Over the past 2 years the opportunity to plan, attend and run meetings in this capacity has consolidated to me the importance of youth voice. I have seen first hand what happens when young people are given trust and opportunity to combat issues for young people as young people themselves and can say it is truly beautiful. An example which is close to my heart is Speakeasy. This is a spoken-word collective I co-founded and now host and run, it is held at Nottingham Playhouse and aims to practise what it preaches- allowing people to speak freely and easily without the fear of judgement. This project is lovingly supported by Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham City of Literature and Writing East Midlands. It is very important to me as it is held in the place it all began for me, the Neville studio. I truly believe that projects like this are only possible because of organisations like UNESCO City of literature and those alike. Without their support a project that now helps many individuals would have been nothing more than an idea.
Founding Chair, Nottingham City of Literature Youth Advisory Board
Nottingham City of Literature have been supportive of my writing since as far back as my pre-publication days. I still remember the enthusiastic testimonial provided by Matt Turpin for one of my early manuscripts. That book didn’t get published, but three others did, and I’m incredibly thankful to The City of Literature for championing each and every one of them. One of the highlights of my career has to be seeing free copies of Furthermoor distributed far and wide across Nottingham as part of the City of Literature's Big City Reads initiative. It was a pleasure to be involved in the campaign, and to work with such a professional team on the likes of engagement, social media posts and promotional videos. Energy, passion and know-how all help City of Literature not only to nurture literacy across the city, but also to support Nottingham’s authors, all of whom share the City of Literature's faith in the incredible things literature can do for our communities.
Nottingham Writer, author of Scavengers, The Memory Thieves and Furthermoor.
I was an intern at Nottingham City of Literature in 2019 after I graduated from the University of Nottingham. Here I learnt so many things about the inner workings of a charity and got real experience in delivering amazing, impactful projects like Young Voices Amplified and Letters of Solidarity. I got to try so many different things - and that was fundamental for me to learn more about my strengths and discover what I wanted to do. Without that experience and knowledge, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am now!
Former Creative Pathways Intern, Nottingham City of Literature
I first got involved with Nottingham City of Literature back in 2021 when I took part in the University of Nottingham’s Creative Pathways internship programme, which then happily led on to the role of Creative Engagement Coordinator up until late 2022. I've since moved away from Nottingham, but I will always be so grateful for my time spent at the City of Literature, for the opportunity to work on such a wide range of exciting projects, and for the dedicated, inspiring team of people that work there!
Creative Engagement Coordinator, Nottingham City of Literature (to 2022)