About Write Here: Sanctuary

Kevin Fegan with participants at Write Here: Sanctuary Derby

Kevin Fegan with participants at Write Here: Sanctuary Derby

During 2016-17 Writing East Midlands will be working in three cities, Nottingham, Leicester and Derby, to deliver three writing residencies to contribute to a culture of welcome and inclusion for refugees, asylum seekers and new arrivals by creating safe spaces for creative expression.

The aims of the project are to:

  1. Encourage participation in creative activity from refugee and other recently arrived groups
  2. Encourage aspiring writers from local communities to share in spoken word, story­ telling and creative writing activities with refugee groups
  3. Produce events for public  audience
  4. Produce new creative work made accessible online
  5. Produce an anthology of new work for public distribution

Leic_CityofSanctuary_logoWorking in partnership with the Cities of Sanctuary and other refugee support groups in Derby, Nottingham and Leicester, we will engage refugees from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa  in spoken word, story­telling and creative writing activities to enable them to tell their stories, articulate their identities and provide a platform for their creative self-expression.

Bespoke writer­ led programmes taking place across 45 sessions over 10 months in 3 East Midlands cities, will enable participants to draw upon their lives, experiences, changing environments and literary cultures to build their confidence in using English.  Sessions will be aimed at drawing upon the participant’s literary cultures, own stories and changing sense of place, to generate new content, free style writing, spoken word and composition.

Write Here: Sanctuary aims to explore and articulate what difference creative writing can make to the social inclusion of refugees in the UK, particularly with reference to the impact on the health and well being of vulnerable groups.

We hope to better understand the best approach to adopt in working with transient groups, with particular reference to the difficulties such groups face in accessing the arts, and in working with people of mixed countries of origin and cultures. Such findings will be collated into a best practice toolkit which will then be used as an advocacy document and disseminated to other organisations interesting in building work in this area.


Write Here: Sanctuary is delivered by Writing East Midlands in partnership with City of Sanctuary and Nottingham Women’s Cultural Exchange. It is funded by Arts Council England, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Rayne Foundation.

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