Beyond Words

Beyond Words

Beyond Words reaches out from Cheltenham Literature Festival to young people with severe mental or physical illness. This is the second year of the programme. Take a look at the success of last year.

Participating in Beyond Words, helped my son to grow in confidence, resilience and self-belief. It re-energised his sense of self-worth and empowered him as a writer. Ultimately, it enabled him to finally put pen to paper and begin to rekindle his love of literacy.


In any given year, over 600 children In Gloucestershire are unable to access mainstream schooling due to conditions like cancer, eating disorders, epilepsy, and orthopaedic, neurological and respiratory disorders. The majority of these young people are aged between 14 and 16.

Working with the Gloucestershire Hospital Education Service (GHES), Cheltenham Festivals is giving every KS4 student the opportunity to work over time with a writer-in-residence, either in person or via a digital learning platform.

The benefits of this project have been immense, and in some cases life-changing.

Annalise Price-Thomas, Head of Service, GHES

Cheltenham Festivals has enlisted successful author and scriptwriter Miranda Walker as the writer for the project in 2016/17.

The workshops are taking place in inspirational venues including Sudeley Castle and The Everyman Theatre.

The young people’s writing is being professionally published in an anthology which will be launched at Waterstones in Cheltenham and showcased at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2017.

To find out more about the project contact

This is a three year project, and is kindly supported by The St. James’s Place Foundation