New fund will bring writers to schools

A new scheme, aiming to improve the quality of creative-writing lessons by sending professional writers into schools, has been launched.

The creative writing in schools fund, run by Arts Council England, will provide financial support, enabling professional writers to deliver workshops to primary and secondary pupils.

It will be particularly targeted at children in impoverished areas, with limited access to arts and culture. And the workshops will be delivered to pupils between the ages of eight and 14, with the specific aim of easing children’s transition between primary and secondary school.

The council has said that the scheme will equip pupils with the ability to express themselves imaginatively and skilfully. It also aims at “enriching the professional development of both the writers involved and teaching staff.”

A spokesperson for Arts Council England added: “Creative writing is an important skill for young people, and is the bedrock of art forms – poetry, fiction, lyrics, play scripts and screenplays, blogging and more.”

Participating schools will also be encouraged to work towards an Artsmark award.

The arts council will fund up to three creative-writing awards, at least one benefiting the north and the south-west of England respectively, over a three-year period between October 2015 and October 2018.

Applications for up to £600,000 are currently invited from arts and cultural organisations (but not individuals) which want to participate in the scheme. The deadline is 8 July at 12pm, and the awards will be announced by 2 October.

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