Paper Nations

Funded by Arts Council England strategic fund for Creative Writing in Schools, Paper Nations is the country’s first and only creative writing hub for young people. The project is led by Bath Spa University in partnership with Bath Festivals and the National Association of Writers in Education. The project will embed writers in schools, deliver CPD (Continuing Professional Development) for teachers and raise the profile of creative writing as an art form.

There are 3 strands to our involvement in the project:

Developing the Creative Writing Voice

The project will use spoken word poetry to support children and young people to find ways into creative writing and allow them to discover their own creative voices, giving each child the confidence to believe that: ‘I am a writer and my writing is valued’.

The project builds on The Write Team, Bath Festivals major creative writing project which utilised creative writing practice as a tool to engage ‘invisible’ pupils, and Home Grown an emotional literacy project we ran in collaboration with Mentoring Plus working with disengaged KS3 pupils. Outcomes of these projects included increased engagement, confidence and attainment in literacy as well as across the curriculum.

‘You cannot know how much of a difference working on the project made to all the students in the class.  In particular, they are just so much more confident in their approach to speaking and in lesson participation and several staff have commented on this.’ Teacher on Home Grown project

The project will provide a series of sessions with Spoken Word Poets working in collaboration with teachers to inspire pupils to find their voices, explore the medium of poetry, and to see the value of writing as a way to express ideas, thoughts and feelings. There will be opportunities within the project to see performances and for pupils to share their work via performance or publication.

For more info please email:

Young Creative Writer Award

The Young Creative Writer Award is a new accredited scheme that will inspire young people to develop their writing talent and build their confidence. Designed in conjunction with NAWE, Bath Festivals and Bath Spa University, this award will be the very first National Creative Writing qualification for children.

In conjunction with NAWE and Bath Festivals, Paper Nations have been designing a national framework for the award, along with resources for writers, tutors and other educators.

We also curated and produced 2 celebration events:

The Creative Writing Feast launched the Paper Nations programme at the Bath Literature Festival in March 2016 with Spoken Word performance from pupils from St Marks School, creative conversations exploring how we can create a nation of young writers and inspiring words from Paper Nations’ Creative Writing Champion, David Almond.

How can we keep creative writing alive in our schools was a debate that took place at the Bath Children’s Literature Festival in October 2016. Panellists David Almond, Julia Eccleshare, Francesca Beers, Jake Bishop Ponte and Bethany Tavener discussed with an audience of teachers, writers, parents and cultural organisations the importance of creative writing for children and young people, and how we can work together to advocate for sustaining the arts in schools and beyond.

Go back

Bath Festivals

Go back to Bath Festivals


Find out about upcoming events