JOB OPPORTUNITY – Shadow Writer – The Elder Tree (Writing East Midlands)
Shadow Writer Job Description
About Writing East Midlands
Writing East Midlands is the writer development agency for the region and supports, promotes and champions writing from the East Midlands to create opportunities for practising writers and to discover new writers of quality.
To do this we:
* Find and develop new talent
* Raise awareness of writers and writing in the East Midlands
* Support publishing in the region
* Encourage writing from all cultural backgrounds
* Expand the writer economy in the region
* Develop partnerships and broker new relationships.
* Promote East Midlands’ writers locally, nationally and internationally.
We value openness, equal access to the means of creativity, freedom of expression and the removal of barriers to creative thought and writing. These values underpin the agency’s development work with writers, literature events, projects, and relationships with partners.
About Write Here Residencies
Our Write Here residencies team up writers with venues and organisations to nurture and develop creative talent.
Write Here is Writing East Midlands’ Writer in Residence Programme. Since 2009 we have run over 40 residencies and placed writers in all the major cities and towns in the East Midlands. We’ve worked with primary and secondary schools, as well as with a range of organisations and institutions including a three year project working with the Roma community in Leicester experiencing high levels exclusion and low levels of access to artistic activity and also delivered writing residencies in Nottingham Contemporary, HMP Sudbury and New Walk Museum Leicester. In schools our writing projects help children and young people to discover their creative skills. The value of Write Here residencies can’t be overstated, both for the local communities and audiences and for the writers in place.
About Elder Tree
Writing East Midlands three-year project, the Elder Tree aims will empower groups of older people across the East Midlands to create new work stimulated by museums, archives, heritage spaces, and professional writers. Activity will include story-telling, reminiscence writing, poetry, group reading and role-play, and embody an ethos of celebration and fun. As part of Writing East Midlands wider interest in evidencing how literature can make social change, The Elder Tree, will evaluate ‘how participating in creative writing activity affect feelings of social isolation and wellbeing in older people’ and inform our, and our partner’s, future work.
The project aims to address issues of social isolation and wellbeing in older people, encouraging them to join in group activities focused around arts and culture. It will encourage participants across the region to take inspiration from museums, archives, heritage spaces and professional writers, and create new work in response to them. Elder Tree will consist of a total of 12 Writing Residencies throughout the region and will aim to embody an ethos of celebration, encouraging older people to join in group activities such as story-telling and reading.
The region-wide project will also celebrate the wealth of experience, knowledge and talent older people bring to communities, especially in the former coalfield areas of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, rural parts of Lincolnshire, former steelwork centre Corby, and inner-city areas in Leicester.
Elder Tree will use creative writing to provide opportunities for social interaction among older participants, while empowering them to choose artistic activity that enriches their lives. It will introduce new audiences to heritage and cultural venues, develop networks and relationships between venues and audiences, and will celebrate literature, particularly from Older People from the region.
Led by Writing East Midlands, the project will be delivered by a consortium which includes Creative People and Places, First Art and Made in Corby, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, and Museums and Development East Midlands, working with non-arts focussed organisations Age UK, Extra Care Charitable Trust, Orders of St John Care Trust and University of the Third Age.
Write Here Sanctuary – Shadow Writer in Residence Brief
FREELANCE SHADOW WRITER–IN–RESIDENCE – 12 positions available in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, rural parts of Lincolnshire, Corby and Leicester.
Writing East Midlands is looking for a number of experienced writers and workshop facilitators, with strong interest in working with older people, community-based work and writing for health and wellbeing to work with us on a new and exciting project, The Elder Tree.
The successful candidate will ideally have:
· Proven literary ability and artistic quality as evidenced by an active pursuit of publication history, or history of performance and/or public outputs
· Sensitivity and understanding of community arts programmes
· A flexible and welcoming workshop approach.
· The willingness to act as an advocate for the values and benefits of the project, and to the connection between arts, literature, community cohesion and health and wellbeing
· Experience of working with older people creatively or a willingness to develop skills in this area. (We strongly advise applicants attend the Elder Tree associated training workshops around this area or are able to clearly evidence recent work with Older People).
· The capacity to act as an advocate for the values and benefits of the project, and to the connection between arts, literature, community cohesion and health and wellbeing
· Experience of editing and collating work for project outputs such as an anthology
· A sensitive, diplomatic and approachable nature and a willingness to nurture creativity regardless of ability.
It is envisaged that this position will require a time commitment of one session per week (2 hours each) of up to 10 sessions, though these sessions could be taken fortnightly depending on the host venue’s needs. There is flexibility around timescales due to the requirements of the host writer the partner groups, but it is envisioned that the project will start from 2019.
A fee of up to £750 is available for support and delivery of residency workshops (£75 per workshop). All fees are inclusive of VAT.
Additional travel expenses are available
All successful Shadow Writer applicants who have taken part in the Elder Tree associated training days will get the fee they paid for the training reimbursed upon project commencement.
Please note, due to location and project needs, it may be possible that successful applicants are awarded more than one residency location, and therefore will be recompensed for this accordingly. Please state on your application which locations you would be interested in working in.
Writing East Midlands seeks a number of ‘shadow’ writers to work alongside established professional writers, in residence at each Elder Tree residency location. The shadow writer will:
• Assist the Lead Writers to plan and facilitate up to 10, two hour workshops with the chosen group of older people. The workshops are hoped to be playful, participatory and focus on creative writing, storytelling, poetry, memoir writing, reading and role play and other areas of interest as decided by the groups themselves. They will embody an ethos of celebration, inclusion, breaking down possible feelings of isolation and writing for health and wellbeing purposes and will also use paired museums / heritage properties as a springboard for creativity.
• Accompany the group to a linked museum as a trip to be used as a spring board for creativity, ideas and reminiscence or used created ‘memory boxes’ loaned from linked museums.
• Be responsive and sensitive to the group and individual members interests and needs, and be open in their workshop and sharing approach
• Be instrumental in collating evaluative data on the group’s experience, and also track their own process through the creative project. The shadow writer will support a uniform evaluative framework which they will be able to engage with and shape.
• Work with a shadow writer and project partners to deliver the workshops and collate qualitive and quantitate data through the process
• Potentially work with the group on performance skills or a public sharing of the work produced.
Please apply in writing with through THIS LINK with:
• A current creative CV with relevant reference information.
• A letter detailing why you are interested in The Elder Tree project, your writing and workshop facilitation experience, any specific experience in working with older people creatively, writing for wellbeing, and working with museum objects or settings.
• Please be clear on your letter which areas you would be willing to travel.
• Please ensure that the above is all on one Word document or PDF.
Writing East Midlands is an Equal Opportunities employer and not to discriminate against any employee or job applicant because of race, colour, religion, national origin, sex, physical or mental disability, or age. For The Elder Tree project we particularly welcome writers who are aged 55+, but we are open to all applications from writers with the relevant experience and all communities.
As the Elder Tree is a three year project, recruitment will be staggered to represent the project and partners timelines. It is envisioned that the bulk of the writing residencies will take place during 2019 / 2020.