Across Corsham, authors, educators, teachers, parents, book sellers, libraries and schools work together to inspire and support writers. This page introduces some of the people and places involved.
The Pound Arts Centre
The Pound Arts Centre is the arts hub for north Wiltshire, and offers a year-round programme of performances, workshops, a youth theatre, and exhibitions. Their mission is to provide opportunities for all people to experience, enjoy, and engage with the arts. They believe that the arts can transform people’s lives regardless of their age, circumstances, ability, or interests.
The Pound is a key member of the Corsham writing community. Both as part of the annual StoryTown Festival in October and across the year, you’ll find a space to engage with writing (and other artforms) at The Pound.
The Corsham Writers Workshop
Corsham Writers Workshop meets monthly in the Pound Arts Centre on a Thursday evening. Group membership is free, and the group is open to all levels of ability. The workshop covers short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, scripts and fiction for children/YA. You can join the group via their facebook page.
MakeBelieve Arts is a creative writing education company based in Corsham and led by Artistic Director Trisha Lee. The company delivers creative writing education programmes for primary aged children using the ‘Helicopter Stories’ method – an approach based on the Storytelling and Story Acting curriculum of Vivian Gussin Paley. They have also developed a unique ‘Storytelling Curriculum’ for schools.
MakeBelieve Arts worked with Paper Nations between 2016-17, introducing the Storymaker approach for Key Stage 2 in collaboration with teachers at Corsham Regis. The project used oral language, scribing and acting out as a way to develop creative writing in children aged 4 years and over. Trisha Lee also focuses on starting points for creative writing with older children, looking at character, setting, and plot –including drawing, painting and music– to capture their imaginative responses to ideas.
Prime Theatre is expanding their fortnightly workshop, ‘Writers Pad’, to a weekly workshop and now working in partnership with Swindon’s Library to offer more opportunities to local writers. They were involved in the Corsham’s first ever StoryTown Festival and are planning to start a hub in Corsham with either The Pound or at Corsham Schools where they are working already.
Chris VickPublished children’s author, Chris, runs Write Write Write, a workshop group for ages 12-16 in Corsham. Chris values the importance of inspiring the confidence to write. Write, Write Write was established in 2018 in the run up to the first ever Corsham StoryTown festival. The workshop is currently taking a break and will resume soon.
The Corsham Library sits at the heart of the Springfield Community Campus. In the bright and modern space (complete with rock climbing wall) the library hosts an enormous array of titles: best sellers and contemporary fiction, well-loved classics and information books covering every subject.
The Library also has suggested reading lists and information on forthcoming titles. There are also a number of public computers which borrowers can use for free. From these terminals you can access the Internet, Microsoft Office and a variety of online resources. For those who prefer electronic reading, the library provides e-books, magazines and audiobooks.
Peahen is an independent publishing company based in Corsham. They are experts in bringing stories to life, helping people through the publishing process – from initial manuscript consultation to illustration – to deliver a bookshelf-ready book.
For mini authors and creatives, they run Peachick Workshops, which offer something for all and can be catered to suit age and ability. At the 2018 StoryTown festival, many tiny hands were set scribbling in their Peachick Workshop. Take a look at the stunning bird and book-themed decorations from the day.
Corsham Town Council
Over the last few years, Corsham Town Council’s commitment and support of the Arts has increased enormously. From the instigation of its Creative Corsham Strategy to running and encouraging a program
me of community and cultural events, the Town Council wants to promote and establish Corsham as a place in which to create for those who live, work and visit here. Grants are available for local groups and organisations who help fulfil this aspiration and StoryTown, Corsham’s celebration of story-telling in all its forms, was also born from that aim. To find out more, visit www.corsham.gov.uk.
Corsham is lucky to have prize-winning children’s author, Sharon Tregenza, living nearby. Originally from Cornwall, Sharon has published three middle-grade novels, all of which were on display at the local library during her talk at Corsham StoryTown 2018.
The Corsham Bookshop
This fantastic independent bookshop on Corsham’s picturesque highstreet provides information and inspiration to the whole community. The bookshop boasts an impressive selection and knowledgeable booksellers to help guide readers to the right book. Novellist, nonfiction writers, and poets regularly visit to give talks. To find out more and to see regular posts on what’s happening at the bookshop, head to their Facebook page.
Matthew Tett is a freelance writer and educator. He is particularly interested in finding different ways to inspire local communities to engage with writing – and to enjoy the whole process of writing. Matthew is the coordinator for Corsham’s StoryTown festival. This annual event is a perfect opportunity to encourage residents to get involved with the wide range of activities on offer, something that Matthew is passionate about.
Marnie is a writer and theatre practitioner. She has written plays with and for young people all over the country, in schools and theatres like Prime Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She directs, writes, and works with all ages, currently supporting teachers using performance poetry in developing language in schools all over Wiltshire and with Juno Theatre on Salisbury Tales. She is an Associate Director of Prime Theatre and runs their Writers Pad.
In 2018, Marnie worked with Paper Nations with StoryTown and all the Primary schools in Corsham, helping the young people find their voices and telling tales they had created. At StroyTown 2019, she is working on several projects, Intergenerational Tales, Pickwick Capers, Sensory Stories with The Pound and Heywood for Hedgehogs. Marnie is also an Arts Award assessor, and uses the national accredited qualification with young people.
This Dare to Write? Atlas page currently features people and places who have collaborated with Paper Nations. Over the course of the next year, the Paper Nations research team will be expanding their scope to document the wider writing landscape and to tell the full story of people and places in Corsham associated with writing in the area. The team are currently working on entries for Tanvir Bush and local writers and organisations. Get in touch if you would like to feature in these pages.