The Goal: to be a Lead Writer (14/9/13) – Lead Writer (4/3/15)
and lots of fun in between, Mentoring and covering in Lead Role and working as Assistant Writer in other groups.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
In September 2013, I met Jonathan Davidson (Chief Executive), for the fourth time at a Writing West Midlands (WWM) networking event. After 9 months of writing, attending workshops and classes, I had come to the realisation that although I can write, I was meant to be a poet. Despite working hard at writing for 9 months my only successful submissions had been poetry. I cannot believe that I could have forgotten that I was a poet.
I started writing at 12 and my final poem at Middle School was not only read at the Presentation Evening (funnily enough there is a photo in existence of myself and JV Birch standing side by side reading and now both of us have embarked on this true calling of writing after lifetimes spent doing other things) but it was also used in my 1st year of High School (Yr 9 nowadays) with the GCSE group as an analysis and reading task. BOOM!
2 years later I had my first poem published and for the rest of my YA life I had poems published. Then I left for university and started performing at open mics for a few years. After graduating I ran some workshops in schools and took a creative writing course. I continued to be a published poet for a few years before retraining as a teacher took over my creative mind and left me time poor.
Over a decade later (close to 15 years) I re-emerged. Remembered I was a butterfly, opened my wings, closed my eyes and jumped.
Anyway there I was at the Network meeting, with Simon Thirsk and Ian Billing and I got talking to Jonathan, I told him of my future plans and he asked me ‘why wait?’ – to which there is no answer. I registered my interest in becoming an Assistant Writer there and then, funnily enough later that evening I was to meet Ruth Stacey and Jenny Hope who both work for WWM.
It is worth mentioning that all you lucky writers whose books I have bought, you have Jonathan to thank for that too, as he imparted this wisdom;
SUPPORT FELLOW WRITERS’ – WHEREVER IT IS POSSIBLE, this includes BUYING their books. We all know how important those sales are post publishing. Offer more than a congratulations if you can.
My application was confirmed two months later, in November and I had an interview at the Custard Factory mid-January. Where I was offered the opportunity to work as Assistant Writer to Ian MacLeod at the Senior (12-16) group.
SEP: Offered my services
NOV: Application accepted
JAN: Interview and success
FEB: Started as an Assistant Writer
I worked with Ian for the remainder of the academic year Feb – July 2014 a total of 6 sessions. After the Summer I returned and have just finished working with Ian for a year.
In NOV 2014 I was approached and asked to work as a Mentor (1 to 1) along with Emma Purshouse and William Gallagher. It was a pilot project which ran for 3 months, DEC- FEB. it was a great opportunity.
FEB – JULY 2014 Assistant Writer for Ian
NOV 2014 Asked to join mentoring pilot programme
DEC – JAN 2015 Mentoring Role
SEP – JUNE 2015 Assistant Writer for Ian
MARCH 2015 Asked to become a Lead Writer
From SEP 2015 I will be the Lead Writer of YW Senior Group.
On March 4th I was asked to be a LEAD WRITER (my initial goal), I accepted without knowing which group I would be placed with. I am delighted to be taking over the reins from Ian with a small group he and I know well.
We hope to expand the group numbers and I have so many ideas to try out with them. I am very excited!
In the true spirit of giving and as a huge thank you to the man himself… let me share this:
Jonathan Davidson has a new book out! and here is a great blog, Nadia Kingsley is another great poet, where you can read all about it;