As part of Wirral Libraries’ Culture and Creativity offer, thanks to funding from Arts Council England (supported using public funding by the National Lottery) and Wirral Council, a multi-disciplinary creative arts project was delivered in the summer and autumn of 2022. The project was called ‘Made in Wirral’ and is part of the ‘Make It in Libraries’ programme, which promotes and supports culture and creativity within Wirral Libraries through externally funded projects.
Working with creative practitioners based in Wirral Libraries, the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, and online, this hybrid programme consisted of a creative writing course for new writers with accompanying illustration workshops to enable the creation of a visual response to their written work. Drawing inspiration from the theme ‘the Wirral,’ the resulting short stories and papercuts now form a lasting digital and printed anthology.
The digital anthology can be found within these co-created webpages (in partnership with the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum) and the printed anthology is available for loan from Wirral Libraries both physically and as an eBook.
Participants were also invited to showcase their work at a special celebratory event and accompanying exhibition at Bebington and Wallasey libraries. This event was recorded and can be viewed at Wirral Councils’ YouTube channel from January 2023 (Wirral Libraries playlist). Participants were offered a workshop and individual mentoring to perform their stories and professional actors supported the event.
Additionally, the project supported an early career practitioner who assisted the creative illustration workshop facilitator. Professional development for library staff was embedded into the project and the librarian team curated a book collection, available via Wirral Libraries, to support local emerging writers, regional publishers and authors.
We hope the anthology of their stories and illustrations will give our new writers well-deserved pride and confidence to continue to write independently. To all our participants who attended workshops in 2022: thank you. Your talent, dedication and commitment has been wonderful to witness and we wish you the best in your future creative endeavours.
We would also like to thank our wonderful creative practitioners listed below who have made this project possible. Please take the time to view the webpages and read the wonderful illustrated stories.
Special thanks to:
Arts Council England
Charlie Lea (Read Now Write Now) Creative Practitioner and anthology editor
Nicola McGovern (Imagine Attic) Creative Practitioner
Vicki Lucas le Bon (Artist) Creative Practitioner
John Maguire (ArtsGroupie CIC) Creative Practitioner link to webpage
Julia Johnson (Williamson Art Gallery & Museum) Digital Officer
Charlie is the principal of Read Now Write Now, a literary arts organisation, specialising in delivering creative writing workshops for writers of all ages across the northwest of England. An author himself, Charlie loves working with new writers, helping to break down all the things they need to think about to write their own stories.
Other recent writing projects include: Climate Champions for 7-11 year olds. The Future 2050 for 7-11 year old and the The Write Time project for adult beginners across Lancashire, Blackburn, Blackpool and Bolton.
Nicola is a professionally trained visual artist with extensive experience in delivering community art projects. Her participatory work aims to encourage learners to make their own decisions, express their individuality and develop their creativity and confidence.
Nicola also produces multi-layered papercut illustrations and custom portrait commissions under the brand name Imagine Attic and 3D work for public art trails including Knowsley Borough Council’s recent The Owl and the Pussycat Trail.