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Multi-award winning author David Almond responds to ‘National Encourage a Young Writer Day’

David Almond, multi-award winning children’s author and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University has, today (10 April 2019), released a statement in recognition of National Encourage a Young Writer Day, inspiring everyone to try their hand at writing creatively. This statement was formed as part of his role as the Chief Ambassador of creative writing incubator, Paper Nations.

Paper Nations is a creative partnership led by Bath Spa University’s Research Centre for Transnational Creativity and Education (TRACE) and funded by Arts Council England. In his statement, David explores what it means to be creative and what it means to have an imagination. He recounts his experience of being asked by an adult what an ‘ordinary’ child like him could possibly write about. He shows that we have to transcend such doubts: “Writing is a natural, human, joyful process. Each one of us has a rich fund of stories just waiting to be discovered and told. We are living, breathing human beings. And our imagination can be as natural as breath.”

David’s statement comes as Paper Nations looks to its next phase of work in the South West of England. Over the last three years, Paper Nations has created and shared resources that help to sustain, expand and celebrate the culture of support for writing so that more young people can develop their writing talent.  

Building on their success and the partnerships they have forged, the Paper Nations team are taking writing to the masses – they are encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in their new phase of work. Through grounded research, they have already worked to raise awareness of the many benefits of creative writing for everyone, regardless of age or experience. 

Bambo Soyinka, Creative Director of Paper Nations, said this week: “Many recognise creative writing’s positive effect on mental health, but it also builds self-esteem, creativity, idea generation, social and global awareness, and empathy.”  

David Almond confirms such effects: “We write in order to celebrate and to make some sense of our astonishing world. We write in order to play and to work, to be daft and to be deeply serious. We do it to feel more human, to feel more alive.” 

To read the full statement, visit

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