Paper Nations, a creative partnership led by Bath Spa University’s Research Centre for Transnational Creativity and Education (TRACE) and funded by Arts Council England, is calling on members of the public to help fill its online searchable Map of the Writing Opportunities and Organisations in the South West.
Paper Nations is reaching out to writers, arts organisations, community groups, educators, publishers, and anyone who advocates for writing in the South West, to share information about writing organisations, events and opportunities in their area that are open to those of all ages. Paper Nations will then collate the information and create an interactive, searchable online map and events calendar which is due to be available at the end of April.
Bambo Soyinka, Director of Paper Nations at Bath Spa University, said:
“Last year we ran a similar mapping project for young people. We are now taking a love and passion for creative writing to people of all ages. We want to ensure that any writer can easily find out about nearby writing opportunities and discover the writing community around them. One of the largest barriers to accessibility is awareness. How can you go to a writing event if you don’t know it’s happening? How can you support a local publisher if you don’t know it exists?”
The new map and calendar will feature any organisation that supports writing including publishers, bookstores, libraries, school, and tourist venues. The goal is to picture the Creative Writing Landscape in the South West and to celebrate our vibrant culture of writing. Paper Nations is committed to ensuring that all types of writer are represented, including the diverse and innovative writers who work in mixed media like poetry films, or burgeoning forms of writing such as flash fiction and writing for videogames.
Paper Nations’ ambition is to make writing accessible to everyone. Its research shows that people who are interested in getting involved in writing, or who are already writing and want to develop their skills, often struggle to find information on local and regional courses, writing groups, festivals, and bookshop events. Its online interactive map will enable anyone to see where and when writing groups, courses, and events are happening in their town or neighbourhood. Finding out about the creative writing landscape will also help Paper Nations understand where communities are underserved.
This new phase of Paper Nations’ work, underpinned by its Writing for All strategy, will focus on ensuring that writing and writing opportunities are available to everyone, wherever they are.