Wannabe writers could get published in new Tamworth book

July 9, 2015

HAVE you ever wanted to write a short story, novel or play but don’t know where to start?

Here is your chance as people are being invited to learn from the best in a series of FREE workshops with Staffordshire’s first ever Poet Laureate Mal Dewhirst – with the chance of getting their work published in a brand new book telling stories of Tamworth.

The mixture of informal and structured drop-in sessions are taking place in community locations across Tamworth during the next three months with the hope of inspiring as many people as possible to develop their writing skills.

Participants will then be encouraged to submit pieces for possible inclusion in a brand new book which is being printed to provide a lasting legacy of the people and places of Tamworth.

Called I Am Words, the writing project is part of the ongoing I Am Tamworth initiative which aims to encourage people from all walks of life to get creative across a diverse range of the arts.

For this element, Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team has teamed up with local writer Mal Dewhirst, who was selected as the county’s first official Poet Laureate in 2012.

As such it was his job to spread the word about poetry through various talks, workshops and events, which makes him perfectly placed to lead the I Am Words project.

Mal said: “The workshops will help people on their way to their first book, pamphlet or stage performance and will explore how we view Tamworth, how we use our dialect and how the town is shaped by its communities and buildings.

 “There will be a mix of sessions. Those being held in Ankerside Shopping Centre, for example, will be informal, with participants providing words associated with Tamworth to construct a series of community poems.

“We will also be gathering words through social media and various other avenues with the overall aim of creating several word maps of Tamworth which can then be used as a starting point for poems, stories or plays.

“The more formal sessions, such as those in the library, will see participants using all of their senses to develop descriptions of the town, its people and their activities for short stories, poems and plays.

“Participants will learn how to develop characters, create dialogue and describe the actions within the setting of the town. Learning will be through a series of exercises that will give them the basic writing tool kit which they can use to further their own writing.”

Sessions get underway on Saturday, July 18 and will be held in a variety of community locations across the town. They are open to people of all ages and abilities and there is no need to book.

Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Economy, Cllr Steve Claymore, said: “I Am Words is another fantastic element of I Am Tamworth. As well as encouraging people to have a go at writing and to develop their skills, it will culminate in the publication of a book. Not only does this give people the amazing opportunity of becoming published authors, but it will also act as a lasting legacy of Tamworth; giving a flavour of life in the town at this moment in history.”

Details of the workshops are as follows:

  • Saturday July 18 – Tamworth Library (11am-3pm)
  • Tuesday July 28 – Tamworth Library (10am-1pm)
  • Friday July 31 – St Martin’s Church, Ellerbeck (3.30pm-5.30pm)19
  • Monday August 10 – Tamworth Library (6pm-7pm)
  • Tuesday August 11 – Ankerside Shopping Centre (12pm-3pm)
  • Saturday August 15 – Tamworth Library (11am-3pm)
  • Monday August 24 – Tamworth Library (6pm-7pm)
  • Thursday August 27 – Belgrave Fire Station (3pm-5pm)
  • Saturday September 5 – Ankerside Shopping Centre (11am-3pm)
  • Tuesday September 8 – Ankerside Shopping Centre (11am-3pm)
  • Thursday September 10 – Belgrave Fire Station (3pm-5pm)
  • Saturday September 19 – Ankerside Shopping Centre (11am-3pm)
  • Tuesday September 29 – Ankerside Shopping Centre (11am-3pm)

More information is available at http://www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk/i-am-tamworth/i-am-words or from the Arts & Events team on 01827 709314.