From January to April 2024, creative workshops took place at six local libraries: Bilborough, Dales Centre, Radford-Lenton, The Meadows, Southglade Park and St Ann’s Valley. We talked, listened and wrote together, building stories based on your experiences and ideas. Six great local writers helped to create space for you to share your thoughts and listen to stories from other people too. Thank you to everyone who joined us, shared their story, learnt a bit more about writing stories, or just stopped by for a good chat!

To finish the project we gathered on Saturday 22 June at Nottingham Central Library and heard some of the fantastic stories that were devised and shared in our six local libraries in our final event: Celebrating Our City, Sharing Our Stories.

 

Take a look at Our City, Our Stories: An Anthology of Nottingham Stories

Featuring submissions from workshop participants alongside writing specially selected by the writers from each of the six libraries, this digital anthology features a total of 70 poems and stories from the people of Nottingham.

“Each writer worked with local communities, gathering stories about our lives, our spaces and ourselves. This digital anthology is the culmination of the project, and features stories, poems and other writing from people across the city. Thank you to everyone who submitted a piece of writing to the anthology – your work is wonderful, and we couldn’t have made this without you.”

– Leanne Moden, Writer for The Meadows Library

Watch Our City, Our Stories film

This film takes us on a visit to all six of the libraries which took part in Our City, Our Stories. Workshop participants, writers and librarians share their thoughts on the importance of libraries, stories and creativity.

“I think that it’s important for people to be able to tell their stories because everyone deserves to be heard. Writing’s something that can be so creative and so easily accessible if you just show people the different ways that they can find their own narratives, tell their own stories and express themselves.”

– Thom Seddon, Writer for Southglade Library

Listen to the podcast from St Ann’s Library

Nottingham poet, writer and workshop host, Jay Sandhu, shares his reflections and stories from workshop sessions at St Ann’s Library. Jay’s sessions centred around poetry, memories and food, and lots of community groups got involved by sharing their poetry, writing and creativity.

“Holding a workshop and asking people to explore and express themselves openly in front of new people and asking them then to share their inner thoughts and feelings can sometimes start a bit quietly and slow. But as soon as I met the brilliant bunch at knit and natter, I realised it wouldn’t be a quiet one – and, I knew nothing about St Ann’s. They had a wealth of knowledge on the local area, and they loved some tea – and that’s all of the gossip and a cuppa.”

– Jay Sandhu, Writer for St Ann’s Library

Thank you to Nottingham City Libraries and Arts Council England for supporting this project.