By Casey Bottono

Saturday 1st October was a historic day for The Writers’ Block. We gathered the mentees and their friends and family, and members of The Story Republic to celebrate the end of the first round of the Young Writers Mentoring Programme.

This was a hugely successful pilot project for The Writers’ Block, thanks to the dedication of the students and staff involved, and to funding from Amazon’s Literary Partnership.

Weaving a thread of Cornish song alongside the central thread of the mentees’ work, The Story Republic treated all present to a rehearsed reading of pieces by all six successful students.

Using minimal props, the performers brought a wide variety of work from a range of genres to life.

In most cases, this was the first opportunity the students had to meet face to face. It was a privilege to watch them connect with one another and compliment each other on their work, as it has been to encourage them in nurturing their creativity and following where their ideas lead.

Looking around and seeing the young people react to hearing their words brought to life was a powerful experience. All agreed that The Story Republic’s performances lived up to the hope they had for their work.

A common theme we have seen in the online workshops came through again, as I observed to a parent that ‘There are so many new books I want to read now, that don’t exist yet!’

As well as celebrating what the mentees and their mentors have already achieved, the Young Writers Mentoring Programme Showcase shone a light on the work we will be celebrating in the future.

We can only imagine that these writers will go from strength to strength, thanks to the dedication and commitment they have shown throughout the project.

Huge congratulations to this year’s cohort of mentees: Cephia, Rosie, Rowan, Sophia, Serafina, and Atlas.