As part of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, we’ve teamed up with Paines Plough to support storytellers and aspiring writers.
Since the beginning of May 2021, ten Coventry-based aspiring writers have been attending weekly workshops which will culminate in them writing and performing their own ten-minute play during Roundabout’s residency in Coventry this July.
We recently chatted to some of the participants to find out what they’re most excited about.
Here you can meet Lauren, Jamie, Ammi, Sarah, Chaz, Sinead, Victoria and Kauser.
“We are all just trying to understand and shape what it means to be human and in this world together.”
I currently live in Coventry and all of my family are from Coventry, though I’ve lived in Spain before. I have never written for performance before, having focused more on poems, short stories and some spoken word, so I’m very excited by that new aspect of this programme.
I loved the acting classes that I’ve attended at the Belgrade and pre-Covid I loved to go to Salsa classes, sit with a coffee and a book and just watch the world go by.
I am feeling inspired, a little apprehensive (like what happens if my imagination fails me?!) curious, open and very privileged to get a place on this programme.
I’m looking forward to working with the other participants and session leaders about the creative process. I want to know what moves them as a watcher, reader and writer, and I’m hoping that it will lead to me crafting something I need to say and am also proud of over the process.
We had the question of “Why do you write?” and it probably wasn’t specifically about writing, but I think Maya Angelou captured one of the main reasons best when she said, “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you” (that may not be verbatim!). We are all just trying to understand and shape what it means to be human and in this world together.
“I am keen to amplify the voices and experiences of marginalised communities through short stories.”
I am an aspiring Creative Writer and a Social Science Researcher. My day job involves working at Coventry University within Research Services where I support the day-to-day delivery of funded projects within the Institute of Creative Cultures.
I come from a working class, migrant background which is why I am passionate about empowering others and why the majority of my career has been within the Education sector, from mentoring schoolchildren and tutoring speakers of other languages, to teaching Literature in Higher Education and participating in Academic Research.
As a writer, I take a socially engaged approach, drawing inspiration from community and social research that I have conducted. I am keen to amplify the voices and experiences of marginalised communities through short stories, micro-fiction and scriptwriting. I am particularly interested in South Asian migration to the UK and second and third generation experiences of education, employment, and communities, as well as long-term illness and disability.
Being at the start of my journey in the Writer’s Programme, I feel curious, excited and optimistic. I am always looking for ways to develop my craft and being part of the Writer’s Programme will give me the opportunity to do this whilst networking with fellow local writers.
Over the course of this process, I am hoping to explore storytelling through performance. The theatre is a space that can often exclude marginalised communities and I am confident that I will be able to empower those by creating and performing plays that reflect their identity and experiences. I am inspired by the various migrant communities that have moved in and out of the Hillfields area of Coventry and want to work their experiences and stories into monologues that can be performed as part of the Roundabout tour. The aim is to change the negative perception of the area and bring to light the diversity of this community and its contribution to Coventry.