Cheltenham Festivals First Story

A week in the life of Cheltenham Festivals First Story

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It has been a particularly exciting week for students participating in the Cheltenham Festivals writer-in-residence programme, First Story.

The deadline is fast approaching to select the pieces going forward for publication, and the students are beginning to think about how to celebrate the launch of their anthologies.

Selecting the front cover illustration

This week the Cheltenham Festivals First Story groups from All Saints’ Academy, Gloucester Academy and Barnwood Park Arts College visited the Illustration department at the University of Gloucestershire to choose an illustration for their front covers. The University students had responded to the briefs given by their teenage clients.

Today has been amazing in so many ways, not least for the students to meet the uni students and to step inside a university…they have just blown me away, the way they had so many ideas and opinions

Amy Fitzgerald-Johnson, Barnwood Park Arts College

As well as selecting the front cover illustration, the visit had a further result: 6 students, who previously were not thinking about going to University, are now considering it as an option. 

Taking inspiration from art works at The Wilson: Cheltenham Museum and Art Gallery

The students visited The Wilson to write from the paintings and sculpture on show. For the vast majority of students this was their first visit to the museum.

Following discussion in front of the art works, the students retreated to quiet workshop spaces to respond. The day finished with some of the students reading their work aloud to an audience.

Read some of their responses for yourself:

The Paintings

I’m really enjoying being part of the programme

Amy Edwards

I think that this is very good for people to gain confidence in writing

Elisha Kent

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