Take a look at the City as a Writing Community
Bath has a long-established network of organisations supporting creative writers. The Bath Festival brings a dynamic programme of writers to the city each year; the Bath Children’s Literature Festival has been running for over ten years. Bath Festivals runs a year-round creative writing programme for young people, led by Hazel Plowman, Director of Creative Learning at Bath Festivals. Bath is also home to Bath Spa University, which runs a well-established set of Creative Writing programmes. The history of the relationship between Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and Bath Festivals goes back 25 years, to the beginnings of both institutions.
Bath has five independent bookstores – Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath, Good Buy Books, George Bayntun, and Bath Old Books. Mr B’s Emporium and Toppings both play an active role in the writing community and run regular in-store events and readings. Mr B’s has an international reputation and is listed in the Guardian as one of the top 10 Bookstores in the world. Bath is also home to several historical attractions surrounding Jane Austen, who lived in the area. These include the Jane Austen Centre, a Jane Austen Festival, and Jane Austen tours of the city.
Dare to Write? Research
The Dare to Write? Atlas research project (which aimed to both document and contribute to the Bath writing ecology) involved collaborating with people, networks, and organisations that were already operating as writing facilitators in the region. Paper Nations worked with Hazel Plowman to produce several writing initiatives that complemented and built upon Bath Festivals’ existing Creative Learning programme. These initiatives supported a programme of writing in schools, hospitals, and across the wider community.