A Community of Writers
The Somerset town of Frome has a well-established writing community, with organisations such as the Frome Writers’ Collective (FWC) at its centre. Now running for over five years, the FWC is an experienced network that provides support to local writers of any genre or stage in their practice, and hosts many events in the community, such as The Frome Small Publishers’ Fair. Also at the heart of this writing community is teacher, educationalist, and writer, Lisa Millard, who you can read more about below.
Paper Nations Research
In Frome, Paper Nations contributed to the establishment of a community based project called ‘Word UP’. This project began with a conversation between Hazel Plowman and Lisa Millard, editor of Little Things Magazine and ex-assistant-Head of Frome College. Lisa had been working with Frome Town Council on literacy and had been invited to apply for a grant to deliver a project to address literacy gaps in Frome.
The aim of Word Up was to cultivate a love of words through engaging writers, poets, storytellers, and wordsmiths to inspire future generations in schools, community events, and workshops. Frome also became a test-bed for an early iteration of Dare to Write? and for the principle of a year-round sustained engagement in writing. Over the course of a year, Word-Up delivered 5-week creative writing projects in each of the 12 selected schools in the Frome area. 9 Frome schools attended the Bath Children’s Literature Festival in October 2017. Over 580 took part in the project. Word Up also ran a termly group for teachers and writers, delivered by Steve Voake, a Paper Nations Creative Writing Developer. The year of activity culminated in a Festival of Words on 23rd June 2018.
As Paper Nations’ new programme, Writing for All, grows across 2019-21, they hope to develop their relationships with this enthusiastic writing community.