Creative Future has been generously supported by The Baring Foundation’s Creatively Minded and Ethnically Diverse strand for our IMPART project–a year-long training, development, mentoring, and workshop programme for Black, Asian and ethnic minority writers with mental health issues.

We aim to address the key issues for writers who face barriers to working as creative writing tutors by:

  • Identifying and providing training for six emerging writers from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds with mental health issues to develop skills, confidence and experience in teaching creative writing
  • Creating a peer support network of these writers
  • Matching these writers with mentor/trainers who are experienced creative writing tutors from the same backgrounds
  • Together, the trainee/mentees and trainer/mentors will co-design and co-produce 8x 2 hour workshops for underrepresented writers
  • Provide relevant Zoom masterclasses (e.g. specific teaching aspects, working with underrepresented people, ensuring accessibility)
  • Increase the size and diversity of the pool of regional creative writing tutors, for Creative Future’s future workshop programmes as well as others in CF’s partner networks

The key results will be:

  • a series of workshops across the country delivered by and for people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds who face mental health issues
  • six newly trained/experienced creative writing teachers from these backgrounds, who’ll be able to better earn an income in the creative industries including as tutors for Creative Future in the years to come.

Why is the project needed?

Creative Future’s three main categories of those we work with have been people with mental health issues, LGTBQIA+, and people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds. Since 2019 we’ve made significant efforts to increase the proportion of people we work with from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds due to the higher barriers to access to cultural activity and representation (e.g. we increased the proportion of entrants to the 2021 CF Writers’ Award from 25% to 35%).

Since 2020 we have been committed to our national workshop programme being facilitated by past CF Writers’ Award winners. In putting a call out to them, we found there were many who were interested in the opportunity but lacked teaching experience. It was also clear that confidence and affirmation of their identity as writers is also an issue, something we see consistently in our work with underrepresented people. This was particularly true for past winners from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities, as well as those with mental health issues—and especially those from both backgrounds.

Finally, we have not found any easily accessible creative writing teaching training programmes, likely because this experience is usually gained in Master’s programmes—something most of our writers lack the resources, confidence or time to undertake. As teaching is a key form of cultural employment for writers, this barrier needs breaking down.

As we move towards the recovery phase of the pandemic, we are also aware of the disproportionate impact it has had on Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities, as well as on mental health. The cultural sector as a whole has experienced an enormous downturn and there is a greater need than ever to upskill those most excluded from it to access even more competitive opportunities, as well as ensure wider access for those who would most benefit from the chance for self-expression.

We are cognizant that the language and nuances around race, ethnicity, mental health, personal identity and representation are sensitive subjects of ongoing debate. We expect robust discussion and mutual learning around these issues.

Further updates will be posted as we select the writers and begin the project.

Sign up to our Mailing List

Sign up to receive communications from Creative Future, including opportunities, updates on activities and more.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top