What We Have Funded

Our Funding in Action

Our funding in action. We re-launched our Annual Fund, aimed at nurturing new projects and community literature activity, at the beginning of 2018. We have since awarded a total of 24 grants to some fantastic, wide-ranging literature projects that span our large South West region.

Each year we gave the Annual Fund a different strategic theme, although any strong projects that meet the criteria are eligible for consideration. The theme in 2021 was ‘The Outdoors’, last year’s theme was ‘Reading Development’.

Most recently, in Winter 2021, the Annual Fund made grants to Creative Mojo in Waterlooville, Hampshire, Okehampton Community Garden in Devon and The Women’s Community Forum in Somerset. In Summer 2021, the Annual Fund made grants to Whitchurch Children’s Festival in Hampshire, North Cornwall Book Festival in Cornwall and Storytale Festival in Bristol. In Winter 2020, we funded Outsider Writers in Bournemouth, Art and Energy in Exeter, PaddleBoat Theatre Company in Exeter and Weston Writers’ Nights in Weston-super-Mare. In Spring 2020, we funded Take A Part in Plymouth, The Palace Theatre in Paignton and Frome Library in Somerset. In Winter 2019, we funded Friends of Henleaze Library in Bristol, The Inclusion Agency in Devon and Wadebridge School in Cornwall. In Spring 2019, we funded Mothership Writers in Bristol, Lapidus in Cornwall and Prime Theatre in Swindon.

The Seed Bed, our new new incubator for grassroots initiatives sits in place of the Annual Fund. Find out more about it here.

Winter 2021

  • Creative Mojo offers inspiring and accessible activities for people in residential care, specialist dementia care services, learning disability homes & the wider community. They have received an Annual Fund grant to support their ‘Creative Connections Poetry Group’.

    Speaking about their grant, Creative Mojo said:

    “We are thrilled to receive a grant from Literature Works to enable us to pilot a new dementia friendly community poetry group in partnership with Waterlooville Library and Dementia Friendly Hampshire. This funding will enable us to run groups aimed to encourage creativity through shared reading and writing of poetry and will be aimed at people with dementia and a family member or carer living in the community. We are excited to be able to support group members to connect to the creativity and power of nature by bringing a little of the outdoors inside through poetry, rekindling a connection with the wonder and beauty of nature. Together we will explore well known poems, tactile objects like fir cones, beach stones, leaves, flowers etc. and inspirational images to encourage engagement and inspire our own poetry.”

  • Established in 2011, The Women’s Community Forum is a dynamic, not-for-profit voluntary constituted organisation focused on inspiring and elevating communities, supporting women and girls to lead and be the best we can be individually and collectively.

    They have been awarded a grant for The Parrett Women’s Poetry Festival.

    Speaking about their Annual Fund grant, The Women’s Community Forum said:

    “Women and girls have always been tightly entwined with nature and the outdoors. Our Literature Works grant will allow us to connect women and girls with striking landscapes whilst unshackling their hidden poet.”

  • Okehampton Community Garden is a fully constituted not-for-profit organisation. They have a hard working and dedicated committee and a core of volunteers that maintain the garden. The community garden is open to everyone in the Okehampton area who is interested in growing their own food. One of their aims is to help reduce social isolation and loneliness. They hold regular well-being sessions, social evenings around a small fire, drumming circles, as well as children’s activity sessions and events.

    They have been awarded a grant for ‘Storytelling in the Garden’.

    Speaking about their Annual Fund grant, Okehampton Community Garden said:

    “2022 is our 10 year anniversary, having this funding will enable us to bring a new dimension to what we offer and will be the starting point for workshop participants on a longer journey into becoming storytellers.”

Summer 2021

  • North Cornwall Book Festival has been running each autumn since 2013. Based at St Endellion over 4 days we lay on two days of author-led workshops for Cornish schools (primary one day, secondaries the next), and two days of author talks, workshops and concerts for the general public.

    They have received a grant to support two events for young audiences, Liz Kessler and Joff Winterhart.

    Speaking about their grant, the North Cornwall Book Festival said:

    The North Cornwall Book Festival will be using the grant of £500 to support Liz Kessler and Luke Wright at the festival and use the finds to expand our audience to young adults, who would not naturally think that a literary festival was for them!

  • Whitchurch Children’s Festival is an outdoors arts festival, scheduled for Saturday 31st July and Sunday 1st August 2021, to be held at the watermeadow by Fulling Mill. It is intended that this will become an annual festival.

    Wahitchurch Conservation Group who are programming the festival have received funding to support the delivery of some of their events.

    Speaking about their grant, Whitchurch Conservation Group said:

    We are delighted to have been awarded funding by Literature Works; it has meant everything to us in a particularly difficult year. The funding has allowed us to work closely with Hampshire Library Service so that we can use their local author contacts and invite authors for our Meet The Author highlight in the Storytelling Tent at our annual family arts festival (Whitchurch Children’s Festival). We really appreciate your generosity – thank you.

  • Storytale Festival was founded in 2019 to provide affordable, accessible and inspiring events for tots to teens across Bristol, showcasing local talent. They are a team of three parents: an author, a graphic designer and a project manager with a background in community work. We involved many local authors, illustrators, storytellers and publishers.

    They have received a grant to put on a ‘Writing for Children’ event at their 2021 online festival.

Winter 2021

  • Outsider Writers exists to give voice to the unheard. Their vision is to show that people side-lined from society can write, perform and create work at the highest level. They support the outsider community to push boundaries to prove they can create work of outstanding quality and worth.

    The project has received funding for its ‘Lock In’ activity, continuing the work they have been doing throughout lockdown to showcase the work of the writers they support.

    Speaking about what the grant means for the project, Nell Leyshon said:

    “This funding from Literature Works means that The Outsiders Project can publish and share with the world the extraordinary writing our outsider artists have done during the global pandemic.”

  • Founded in Exeter 2014, PaddleBoat Theatre CIC is an award-winning company committed to delivering high-quality inclusive productions and workshops to children and families across the South-West. At the heart of our work is inclusivity and the desire to share inspiring stories.

    They have received an Annual Fund grant for their project ‘Roald Dahl, Skin and Other Stories’ – a workshop series with students of Exeter Deaf Academy.

    Speaking of the grant, Michael Smith said:

    “We are so excited to work with the very talented students at the Deaf Academy in the spring term to create performances based around Roald Dahl’s weird and wonderful short stories! We will use these texts as a starting point to help the students develop their literature skills through embodied learning – at the end of the term the students will get to perform in their schools brand new theatre space. We can’t wait to see the amazing performances that the students come up with!”

  • Art and Energy are a group of makers, thinkers and tinkerers. creating artworks exploring our energy generation and the responding to the Climate Emergency.

    They have received a grant for their Moths to a Flame ‘Whispers’ workshop and poetry slam.

    Speaking of what the grant means to the project, Chloe Uden said:

    “Art and Energy is so grateful to Literature Works for making it possible for us to work with Matt Harvey to deliver an online ‘Moths to a Flame – Whispers Workshop and Poetry Slam’ in the new year!

    Participants will be invited to find their voice and speak poetry to power and these poems will form part of a mass-participation art installation that will take to COP26 – The UN Climate Change Conference taking place in November 2021.

    The workshop will be free to attend via zoom and details will be shared on our Facebook page in January.”

Spring 2020

  • Take A Part works for a world where inequalities are erased through creativity. Their Reverberations project is about reflecting the voices, journeys and histories of Coxside. ‘Calling out from Coxside’ – online writing workshops – will offer the opportunity to develop confidence in writing for more residents in the Coxside community, many of whom may never have written creatively, as a way to share the view right now.

    Take A Part feel that while we are all working at distance this project offers a great way to continue to connect, develop relationships and opportunities and work in new ways creatively.

    Speaking about the grant, Gem Smith, Take A Part’s Creative Education Producer said:

    “These funds have enabled Take A Part to build on our community magazine idea and project, providing expert training in writing with a local artists free to community members in Coxside. This training is enabling them to build their confidence and skill around creative writing. We are so pleased to be able to work with the community in this way and are really grateful for the support of Literature Works via this funding.”

  • Frome Library has been awarded a grant for their project, The Poetry Machine. The project aims to reach out to deprived secondary and college young people, to promote reading and writing their own cool poetry with an objective of building confidence, self-esteem, expression of feelings and experiencing poetry and creativity in a new way.

    The Poetry Machine will be run at Frome library by Beth Calverley, a poet, creative coach and founder of The Poetry Machine. A participatory day of poetry activities for the local community will end with an evening event celebrating the work created.

  • The Palace Theatre in Paignton has recently launched ‘Poems from the Palace’, a community driven project which aims to promote poetry and creativity during COVID-19 lockdown. To get involved and find out more about the Poems from the Palace project visit the Palace Theatre Youtube channel and the Palace Theatre Paignton website.

    Speaking about the grant, The Palace Theatre said:

    “We are delighted to receive the Literature Words Annual Fund award, which will bring life to our digital channels and mean that we can share the voices of a range of people, community groups and local businesses, and to entertain our audiences whilst they cannot enjoy a performance on stage. A poetry workshop and live event will form part of the project later in the year.”

Winter 2019

  • Friends of Henleaze Library have been awarded an Annual Fund grant for their project, The Happy Place – What is Good in our Lives.

    Friends of Henleaze Library are delighted to be running The Happy Place – What Is Good In Our Lives at Henleaze Library in Bristol from March-July 2020. The project will use creative writing to promote happiness and develop community connections. Based around a Happy Space that they are creating in the library, they will run a series of drop-in writing sessions and more formal workshops.

    Speaking about the grant, Philip Monks of Henleaze Library said:

    “The Annual Fund is helping us to use a range of writers and workshop leaders for the project, as well as supporting a final performance/celebration event.”

  • Wadebridge School have been awarded an Annual Fund grant for their Kernow Youth Book Award (KYBA).

    KYBA is a Cornish reading initiative running from September to March with six shortlisted titles selected by the young people of Cornwall. The aim is to encourage all ages and abilities to enjoy books they might not normally choose and be able to discuss and vote for their favourite. Shortlisted authors attend to inspire the audience with humour, magic (we have had authors who are also members of the Magic Circle) and an insight into the craft of writing. The whole event is a celebration of reading.

    The 2020 award takes place at the Eden Project on Wednesday 29th April.

  • The Inclusion Agency have been awarded an Annual Fund Grant for their project ‘Where are you really from?’

    The Inclusion Agency (TIA) was founded by writer and researcher Louisa Adjoa Parker, and Louise Boston-Mammah, who also works for Development Education in Dorset. The pair have worked together on a number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic projects over the years, and through TIA they hope to deliver further diverse arts and heritage projects in the region, as well as supporting organisations to become more inclusive.

    Where are you really from? is a pilot project that will build on research carried out by Louisa in 2018-2019, when she produced a podcast and blog during her South West Creative Technology Network fellowship. The new project will gather more stories and share them widely, adding in literary elements such as poetry and fictional audio. The project is supported by publishing partner, Little Toller Books.

Spring 2019

  • Mothership writers in Bristol provide writing workshops for new mothers who are in their final trimester of pregnancy or have a child under the age of one. The workshops offer an outlet to explore creativity in a welcoming space, which brings together women and their babies. The grant from Literature Works will fund sessions for women from diverse backgrounds.

    This is what Emylia Hall, founder of Mothership Writers had to say:

    “I’m thrilled that Literature Works are supporting Mothership Writers through the Annual Fund. Their contribution has helped facilitate the addition of a third group to our programme of workshops, with the focus on encouraging diverse participation and engaging mums from under-represented communities. Mothership Writers was launched in Bristol in April, and is supported using public funding through by the National Lottery through Arts Council England; it’s a free year-long programme of creative writing workshops for new mothers, with a philosophy of creativity, community, and well-being. The response to the project has been fantastic, and we have fifty-four Mothership Writers – and their offspring – already onboard, with a further six places made available to mums from under-represented communities.”

  • Wadebridge School have been awarded an Annual Fund grant for their Kernow Youth Book Award (KYBA).

    KYBA is a Cornish reading initiative running from September to March with six shortlisted titles selected by the young people of Cornwall. The aim is to encourage all ages and abilities to enjoy books they might not normally choose and be able to discuss and vote for their favourite. Shortlisted authors attend to inspire the audience with humour, magic (we have had authors who are also members of the Magic Circle) and an insight into the craft of writing. The whole event is a celebration of reading.

    The 2020 award takes place at the Eden Project on Wednesday 29th April.

  • Lapidus in Cornwall have received a grant to provide three half-day writing for well-being workshops in Falmouth Library and Art Gallery, introducing carers and those diagnosed with chronic physical and mental health conditions to reading and writing for well-being.”

    Speaking of the impact of the grant on the project, Anne Taylor of Lapidus said:

    “Lapidus Cornwall is delighted to have been afforded the opportunity of running these three writing for well-being workshops. Expressive writing and journal keeping has been shown to be a very effective way of improving both physical and mental health and this Literature Works grant will help us to give up to 45 participants an enjoyable workshop experience as well as a toolkit for future self-care,”

Winter 2018

  • Bowlish Infant Primary School received a grant for a new project ‘All the World’s Our Playground’ which introduces children to high calibre children’s theatre. The project is running in six different schools in Shepton Mallet and will culminate with a festival in March 2020. The project is particularly important as Shepton Mallet lost its only theatre in 2010 which limits opportunities to introduce children to theatre.

    Speaking of the impact of the grant on the project, Bowlish Infant Primary School said:

    “Bowlish Infant School are delighted to be supported by Literature Works. This funding will support bringing an author into six primary schools in Shepton Mallet. Students across all schools have been experiencing a range of live theatre performances. In September, thanks to generous support from Literature Works, we will be working with author David Reakes, author, storyteller and the former Bard of Glastonbury, who will be supporting students in creating their own immersive performance. David will be working with students to explore how to create a character, how to develop a sense of place and what makes a good story. Following this David will lead creative writing sessions where students will start creating their own narrative as part of All the World’s Our Playground – a big immersive performance featuring professional performers alongside all six schools in Shepton Mallet in March 2020 organised by a student programming panel and led by Bowlish Infant School and Make the Sunshine Community Interest Company.”

  • Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature received a grant to deliver creative writing workshops in primary and secondary schools, for children aged 5-16 years during their festival in May.

    Speaking of the impact of the grant on the project, Chris Williams of Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature said:

    “We were delighted to receive this award from Literature Works to support our work. The Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature ran from 11 -18 May 2019 and in addition to our annual Awards for Writers in Artists and Short Story Competition, the grant supported us in offering more events in schools for children to meet and work with writers from the South West. Brenda Daly, Festival Director said, “I was delighted when I heard the news that the Festival had been awarded the grant. It played a significant part in securing the development of the schools programme, where we bring authors into schools to present to children and run workshops with them. Encouraging reading at a young age is high on the festivals agenda and it is wonderful to have financial assistance to be able to achieve this.”

  • Kernow Education Arts Partnership received a grant to programme a day of creative writing with Carefree, a group of young people in care. The session included daytime workshops with Jane Pugh and a speakeasy event in the evening with Taran Spalding Jenkins.

    Speaking of the impact of the grant on the project, Amanda Harris, of KEAP said:

    “The Literature Works award gave us a brilliant opportunity to work with a young Cornish Writer who is making a name for himself in Bristol and for him to inspire and create with a group of young people in care. We are hoping this is the start of something we can continue.”

  • Chagword Literature Festival utilised funding from the Annual Fund to programme work as part of the Chagword’s Children’s Bookfest in a local primary school. The Creative Writing Blitz, a programme of writing workshops, was delivered over two days at Chagford Primary School. The first day featured Claire Barker, who worked with the children through the whole age range to encourage imaginative writing and story making.

    Speaking of the impact of the grant to Chagword Literature Festival had on the local primary school, head teacher, Liz Wiseman said:

    “We have had a fantastic start to our new term with children’s author Claire Barker visiting us to share her books and conduct some workshops with all the pupils. Many thanks must go to the Chagword Literary Festival who kindly organised and funded this unique experience for our pupils. Claire was wonderful and the children have gained so much from her input into their day. The idea behind the venture was to help inspire our young writers to enter the Chagword short story competition in February. I think that from Claire’s feedback we will have plenty of creative pieces of writing entered from Chagford C E Primary School.”

  • Try To Be Better is a multidisciplinary project foregrounding experiment and collaboration in new art and poetry. Inspired by the poet W. S. Graham in his centenary year, the project included publishing an anthology of writing. Try to be better received a grant to run a workshop in Helston Community College.

    Speaking of the impact of the grant on the project, Lavinia Singer of Try to be Better said:

    “We are so grateful to have received a grant from the Literature Works Annual Fund for our Try To Be Better project: it enabled us to fulfil our aim of bringing together artist and reader, the creative and educational, in a series of stimulating workshop settings. It’s wonderful to know we can support our artists and writers, while also celebrating the work of W. S. Graham more widely. Thank you!”