Creating Our Projects

An Imagining History workshop is devised with its audience in mind, and tailored to the particular qualities of each venue. Our research and development over the past three and a bit years has highlighted an important distinction for a young writers between static and dynamic knowledge. This distinction permits IMG_4041us to find the ways in which each historical environment we invite our writers to is allowed to give up its secrets to a young person with writing in mind.

We develop projects in three ways:

  • based on our own research and inspiration
  • at the invitation of schools
  • at the invitation of venues

Many of our workshops take place in the post-exam window when older students are free of pressure and perhaps looking for new inspirations in their work. Increasingly, however, demand is rising for events that take place throughout the school year and also for events targeted on home-schooled students.

Schools have begun to commission workshops from us, to enhance their current curriculum initiatives:

  • In Edinburgh during 2018, we created events at the request of two secondary schools exploring the maritime history of Edinburgh during World War I.
  • On the Isle of Man, we were invited to lead Day 2 of an oral history project exploring the lives of internees and natives during the internment of Enemy Aliens during World War IIIsle of Man

We also respond to ideas from venues themselves, ever more keen to engage with a teenage audience.

  • We were asked by the management of the National Trust site at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk to devise a February Half-Term and Easter Break drop-in workshop format.
  • We were approached by the Young Norfolk Arts Festival and Norwich Castle to develop a residency-style series of workshops around a major touring exhibition of the V&A, and in the following year around a major international collaborative exhibition


Amongst our current projects:

Cornwall Odyssey

Co-led by Stephanie Haxon, Cornwall Odyssey is a 5-part event, beginning in July and ending in October.

A team of young writers was recruited from two schools – Sir James Smiths in Camelford and Newquay Tretherras Academy. The programme consists of:

  • two in-school sessions led by Stephanie Haxon
  • two field-trips (Launceston Castle, Penhallam Manor)
  • a Spoken Word presentation during the schools day at the North Cornwall Book Festival in October.

The idea behind this long format is to engage the writer’s imagination ‘in the background’ and to keep feeding new ideas to support their ongoing and focused writing. 

This project was created in a response to an invitation from Patrick Gale, shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. We are very excited indeed to include Cornwall in our programme. This land is fertile with hidden voices and with young artists learning to celebrate their heritage. We are deeply grateful for the support of Jennifer McCracken at English Heritage in the creation of this programme.




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