Over the last seventy years, Bath Festivals has transformed Bath into one of the top three festival cities in the UK. Every year, thousands of people, locals, and visitors come to Bath to attend events during the Bath Festival and the Bath Children’s Literature Festival.
Throughout the year, Bath Festivals delivers a creative learning programme for young people, led by Hazel Plowman. The programme grows young people’s confidence and improves their communication skills using writing and arts-based activities.
But it’s not all about running workshops and programmes. The Creative Learning Team at Bath Festivals contribute to the local writing ecology by maintaining and developing relationships and having continuing conversations with schools, local young people’s organisations and writers. Through this work, they help to sustain a network of writers, facilitators, and practitioners who want to work with young people.
These are some of the projects that Bath Festivals have developed and led as part of their work to sustain the local creative writing ecology.
The Write Team
The Write Team was Bath Festivals’ flagship creative writing project. The Write Team ran for three years and worked with 11 schools and professional writers to boost children’s communication and literacy skills, and to support teachers in developing their teaching practice. It was nationally acknowledged for the impact it achieved, as evidenced through the external evaluation undertaken by the University of Exeter.
The Young Writers Lab
The Lab was set up during the 2014 Bath Literature Festival and now runs monthly. It offers young people the opportunity to develop their skills, create work for performance and publication, meet other young people who are keen writers and, most importantly, to have the time and space to write.
Work during the Festivals
Bath Festivals ensures that young people’s work always sits alongside the work of professional writers and authors during the festivals. This gives the work additional value and encourages a sense of pride in the children and young people.
Hazel has been a key contributor to Paper Nations. She is a member of the strategic committee, representing Bath Festivals. As part of her work for Paper Nations she led ‘Developing the Creative Writing Voice’, an action research project which works with schools in the local area to gather evidence about the best ways of working with children to help them access and enjoy creative writing.
This page contains an extract from an original case study about Bath Festivals (by Lucy Sweetman and Bambo Soyinka)