YOUNG writers at several Bradford schools will end the school year by seeing their writing published in anthology collections.

First Story is a project that sees authors becoming “writers in residence” at secondary schools, working with pupils there to produce a creative writing anthology.

As the academic year comes to an end, the schools are now launching their anthologies at special events attended by pupils, staff and writers.

Appleton Academy, Dixons Allerton Academy and Dixons Trinity Academy have already held their launch events, with Belle Vue Girls’ School holding theirs on Thursday with Grange Technology College’s launch on Monday and Feversham College launching their anthology at an event in Bradford City Hall next Wednesday.

Bradford writer, poet and performer Nick Toczek worked with the pupils from Appleton Academy to create their anthology, which was unveiled at an event featuring him and other authors on June 30.

In 2013 Bradford became the first area in the North to sign up to First Story. It was set up to work with pupils from deprived areas who may not normally be engaged with writing, introducing them to established authors who help them write their own short stories and poems, drawing from their own experiences.

Originally there were three schools that took part, but in subsequent years the number of schools that have signed up has increased significantly.

As part of the project schools attend book readings, take part in writing workshops and visit art galleries to find inspiration for their work.

Author and environmental activist Emily Diamand has been writer in residence at Belle Vue Girls’ School this year, and, said: “We often think that the transfer of imagination onto paper is straightforward, even easy, requiring no more than a pen and a blank sheet.

“But writers work to control imagination, training themselves to create something that others can appreciate. And that is what this group of new writers have spent months doing – playing with words, and learning how to pull ideas from their minds.”

Poet and radio personality Kate Fox is writer-in-residence at Feversham College, and will be attending the launch in City Hall. She said: “I have wonderful memories of the many moments of growth and joy during our writing time. Students pushing themselves past the barriers of feeling shy, timid and lacking in confidence to discover that, encouraged by the group, they can write words and think thoughts they never would have imagined. Seeing

the world anew and sharing their perspective with us.”

Novelist and short story writer Rachel Connor, writer-in-residence at Dixons Allerton Academy, added: “One of the key principles of First Story is to encourage young writers to value their own experience and realise it is worthy of expression.

“For me, this is what is most prominent in this anthology. Whether writing about home, family or school, all the contributors to the volume found the courage to write about their own lives – about being themselves; ‘being us’.”

Katie Waldegrave, author and co-founder of First Story, said: “First Story gives a voice to young people whose stories might not otherwise be heard. It uses creativity to build students’ self-esteem and self-confidence at a time in their lives when the curriculum in centred almost exclusively on exams.”