Three current MA Creative Writing students spent three months working with ten Oxford Academy 11 and 12 year olds, on a collaborative writing project called Our Words.
Starting in January 2014, the project culminated in the publication of their work, and a reading performance of the whole book at the Oxford Literary Festival on the 28 March. The Brookes students – Mary Chesshyre, Beth Grimsdale and Morgan Feldman – successfully coached the young writers, week after week – and were supported by the poet and Oxford Academy Writer-in-Residence Alan Buckley. Alan is funded by the writing charity First Story.
Head of Department of English and Modern Languages, Dr Simon Kövesi, was hugely impressed: “Mary, Beth and Morgan gave an enormous amount of time and energy to this project. The culmination was a moving, stimulating reading in the grand surrounds of the Great Hall at Christ Church as part of the prestigious Oxford Literary Festival. They have given the great Oxford Academy kids a taste of the liberation writing and creativity can bring. This is the third year we’ve run this project and the work just gets better and better.”
The collection was celebrated at the event by novelist, poet, memoirist and radio script writer, Kate Clanchy: “This project deepens and grows. This was the best book yet, and the children read with real pride and prescence.”
The design and production of the book was the first official Oxford Brookes project to be crowd-funded, via the new collaboration with the Hubbub platform.