Paper Nations

Dare to Write? was incubated through Paper Nations, a creative writing partnership located in TRACE. Paper Nations’ 2016-18 programme is supported by the Arts Council England Creative Writing in Schools fund. The programme involves four key partnership projects between Bath Spa University Creative Writing Faculty and Institute for Education, Bath Festivals, the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE), Poetry Can, StoryHive and a thriving community of local schools and arts organisations.

At the heart of Paper Nations’ 2016-18 programme is a desire to help all young people explore and appreciate the art of writing. Paper Nations seeks to accomplish this ambition through a process of creative investigation and dialogue, resulting in the creation of evidence-based resources to help sustain, enhance and celebrate the culture of support for writing in and around schools.

Our core focus is on approaches to the art of writing that are inclusive, playful and exploratory. We want to help writing flourish – both as a pleasurable activity with intrinsic worth, and as a practical activity with wider cultural and social benefits.

David Almond is the patron of Paper Nations, and our Chief Writing Ambassador. He is the award-winning author of Skellig and My Name is Mina.

Research Partner

The Research Centre for Transnational Creativity and Education (TRACE) at Bath Spa University is the lead Research Partner behind Paper Nations and Dare to Write?

TRACE’s purpose is to develop research that enables creativity and learning across borders. We believe that everyone can innovate and that we all benefit when research is open to everyone. To this end, we work hard to find ways to work with individuals and groups that feel excluded from our major cultural, creative and educational institutions. TRACE continually aims to inspire innovation and establish a greater physical presence in local communities. We prioritise maintaining positive and empowering relationships with all individuals, communities and organisations with whom we collaborate.

Bath Spa is an ambitious, enterprising and supportive university. We aim to be a vibrant and well-connected centre for new ideas, with a local and international profile for creativity, culture and enterprise in research.

Creative Enterprise Partner

StoryHive is the lead Creative Enterprise behind the Dare to Write? project. StoryHive is a media production and publishing house. We create platforms that blend books, games and films with real-life experiences.

Book Kernel is an imprint/platform of StoryHive with a focus on creating ‘living’ books. StoryHive began its life in 2013 through a collaboration with Book Kernel and Professor Alexis Nouss from Cardiff University. The collaboration was made possible through the REACT Books and Print scheme which aimed to bring together Creative Enterprises with Universities. Book Kernel provides a unique ethos and approach to celebrating the ever-evolving relationship between living, speaking, writing and making books.

Dare to Write? emerged from the Book Kernel ethos and approach. Since 2016, StoryHive has been collaborating with Bath Spa University and Paper Nations to embed the principles of Book Kernel into the programme. Dare to Write? and the Dare to Write? Library is one of the key results of this collaboration.

Research and Development Team

Dare to Write? was developed through a process of play, research and design. It is one of four key research projects from Paper Nations, a creative writing partnership initiative located in TRACE, the Research Centre for Transnational Creativity and Education, at Bath Spa University. Key members of the Paper Nations research team include: Dr Greg Bond, Lily Green, Laura Holdship, Joanna Nissel, Dr Emma Pauncefort, Eleanor Pender, Lynne Taylor and Lucy Sweetman.

On the Bath Spa University research team, Lily Green has been a key player, working to integrate the Book Kernel ethos into Dare to Write? and the Dare to Write? Library.

On the StoryHive side of development, Ben Gwalchmai has been an influential figure. Ben is a Director of StoryHive and leads on the Book Kernel Project. Ben is a maker, worker, and writer. He works mainly with words, but creates work in whatever medium and form best fit the content. Ben has been collaborating with Bambo, the founder of StoryHive, for over four years to test and refine the Book Kernel process. Ben Gwalchmai provided the initial package of training and support for Lily Green.


Several authors and editors have significantly contributed to the development of Dare to Write? including, Lisa Millard, Janine Amos, Jane Bluett, and Dionne McCulloch.


The Creation of Dare to Write? would not have been possible without support from the lead Paper Nations partners: Bath Festivals and NAWE. We would especially like to thank Hazel Plowman and Seraphima Kennedy.