Creative writing inspired by UCL's museums and collections

24 January 2013

First story event image 1

150 school children are coming to UCL on 6 February to write fiction inspired by UCL’s wide range of museums and collections.

The students, from ten London schools, will spend the day exploring UCL’s museums and collections before forming into groups and producing pieces of creative writing. Members of the public and the UCL community are then invited to hear some of this writing being read out by the students.

After visiting the Petrie, Grant and Art Museums, the Rock Room and the Flaxman Gallery, the students will join one of ten published authors to create a short piece of writing inspired by the day’s experiences. Everyone is then welcome to the students’ performances, which take place in the Ambrose-Fleming Lecture Theatre at 4.30pm on the same day.

The event is run by First Story, a charity that ‘supports and inspires creativity, literacy and talent in UK schools and their communities’, and the UCL English department, with volunteers from the department supporting the workshops.

Among the authors confirmed are Pete Hobbs, James Dawson, Betsy Tobin, Shauna O'Briain and Ben Faccini. They will help the children produce their pieces of creative writing and introduce those that are performing at the event in the Ambrose-Fleming Lecture Theatre.

Dr Nick Shepley (UCL English), who is organising the event, commented: “This just seemed too good an opportunity to miss. UCL English department has been working with the charity, First Story, for over a year now. We partnered up at UCL's Festival of London and Literature, 'One Day in the City', last summer, and a number of our students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) have helped with writing workshops in local schools too. There are so many amazing artefacts and objects in UCL's numerous museums, from plaster casts of murderers' heads to prehistoric footprints. I can't wait to hear what stories the students create from this rich material. Everyone is welcome to come along for performances too, which will begin at 4:30pm.”

The event is a joint venture by the UCL English department, UCL Outreach, UCL Museums and Collections and First Story. For more information, particularly about the afternoon performance, contact Dr Nick Shepley.

Image: a creative writing session for students at another First Story event