New writers perform their very own stories at Storyhouse, Chester

17 July 2019

New writers and storytellers told their tales to an appreciative audience at the Garret Theatre, Storyhouse Chester.

Thanks to the Hear I Am project organised by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Libraries Service and literacy organisation, Read Now Write Now, a group of beginners attended eight sessions and were guided by author Charles Lea how to not only write a short story but also perform it as well.

Held at three libraries, Winsford, Storyhouse and Ellesmere Port, participants looked at story structure focusing on plot design, characterisation and setting the scene, as well as tone, diction, accent and tempo.

Funded by Arts Council England with a generous supply of support in kind from Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Libraries Service and Storyhouse Chester, 12 of these new writers wrote their very own story and then read it out at the Garret Theatre.

Stories ranged from a not so happy ending to a first date in romantic Warrington; a spectral experience running a pub in the heart of Chester and a children’s tale about a snail called Cecil.

Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “I’m delighted our libraries were able to host these fabulous workshops.  I now hear most of the participants want to continue to write, that is the real legacy of this course, helping people write their own stories, either in groups or independently. Well done to all.”

Charles Lea, director of Read Now Write Now and workshop leader, said: “It has been a wonderful eight weeks meeting new people, beginners to writing and then helping them achieve what to most is a lifetime ambition, to write a story. It has been terribly fun but also terribly fast and I will miss meeting up with everyone. 

“Seeing, reading and listening to their stories has been a tremendous honour and I am truly grateful to all who attended, as well as Arts Council England, Storyhouse and Cheshire West & Chester libraries.”  

Jane Higham, who wrote and told her story at the event said: “I really loved the course, I learned an awful lot and had lots of fun.  At the start I thought I'd never read my story in front of an audience, but everyone was so friendly and supportive I did, and was glad I did.”

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