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SO:Write 2 - Press Release

05 February 2019

SO-Write 2 Literature Development Project

Press Release – February 2019


Promoting Writers and Writing in Southampton


Southampton writers are set for a significant boost in opportunities to create, advance, and showcase their work, thanks to fresh funding for a literature development programme in the city.


SO-Write 2, a two-year project, will draw together resources and expertise from a delivery consortia including ArtfulScribe, City Eye, John Hansard Gallery, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton Libraries, Southampton Cultural Development Trust, Turner Sims, Unity 101 and University of Southampton


Led by ArtfulScribe, with generous support from Arts Council England and other partners, the project will develop links between schools, local business, community groups and cultural organisations to raise the profile of writers and writing in the area by providing a structural platform to enable creative talent to flourish.


School poetry slams, young writers’ groups for 11-14, 15-18, and under 25’s, writing residencies, publishing opportunities, open access workshops, a women’s writing group, Writing for Wellbeing sessions, a podcast, self-publishing book fairs and writing surgeries will get underway from March 2019 with live showcases featuring national and international acts also scheduled for over the next two years.


ArtfulScribe director, Matthew West, said: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity to build on the successful work and partnerships we’ve developed since 2011, embedding creative writing at the heart of cultural activity in the city. So much can be done through support and encouragement, from empowering those whose voices might not otherwise be heard to shining a light on the road ahead for writers looking to develop their craft through workshops, training, performance and publication. Writing is for everybody. It doesn’t discriminate over race, gender, or age and I’m really excited to work with our partner organisations on a project that will make a real difference in enriching lives.


James Gough, director of Southampton Cultural Development Trust, said: ‘SO-Write 2 sets out to identify and support writers in developing sustainable portfolio careers, combining writing with workshop leadership and other training opportunities. The project aims to reduce barriers between educational institutions and a general public, empowering anyone who’s interested in working with words, so we’re very happy to support it.’


For further information, to get involved, or to volunteer, please email





Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.




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