Candle Lights, Snow Fights and Star Lights
An Anthology from the First Story / Arvon Week at The Hurst
Ed. Peter Hobbs
London, First Story, 2013, 55p
That is really all I need to say. But I don't think I'm going to get away with that.
If you are reading this blog and you haven't heard of First Story, where have you been?!? Last February, I was lucky enough to be put on a train and sent to Shropshire for an Arvon creative writing course. Stranded in the middle of a forest in a foot of snowfall with no signal and no escape, fifteen talented young writers shared laughter, experiences and poetry.
We were blessed with Salena Godden and Peter Hobbs as our guides, who braved cold winter nights and long fraught workshops to produce the most inspired and inspirational writing I have ever witnessed.
This was one of my earliest encounters with First Story. I had nothing to hide behind, forced to write and read out, even though my rough scribbles paled in comparison to what came out of the pens of the teenagers present. These young people lit up the rooms with their imaginations, bringing to life unicorns, Buddhist monks and Marilyn Monroe.
This anthology is a culmination of that week's work. With contributions from all the students from the three schools, it is just a taste of what myself and the other adults present got to enjoy. Those hesitant early drafts have turned into masterpieces of poetry and prose, some merry, some melancholy, some macabre, all marvellous.