|Looking down from Blanchard towards the Atlantic Sea, Saint Lucia.|
On Thursday 17th September 2015 I took a group of girls from Year 9 to the First Story Young Writers' Festival at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. The First Story project partners schools with a published writer who then leads a group of students in creating an anthology.
The event saw poetry performances from Caroline Bird, Anthony Anaxagorou and Andy Craven-Griffiths (who all instantly gained new fans), a lunchtime Q&A with Sally Green and an afternoon workshop to develop their creativity.
Alongside this, the teachers are also given the opportunity to attend a workshop to get new inspiration for teaching creative writing. The session I attended was led by Dan Powell, who introduced a technique of free-writing whereby a word is called out, every thirty seconds or so, and has to be woven into whatever you're writing.
Here is my attempt, evoking memories of Saint Lucia.
The shack stood aloneLike a wilting flamboyantBraced against the Atlantic winds,As they pushed,Pulled,And jabbed against the remnants of the battered tin roof.Its foundations rocked and swayed as a series of gustsItched the landscape,And a thousand lost voices floatedUp and away over the Ti Rocher gapTo be consumed by the dense emerald forest,Huddled,
Waiting patiently beyond the next hill.