The Journey Begins

This is the story of The Journey Begins, the first of three anthologies to be created as part of the University's commitment to the Mayflower400 commemorations in 2020.

The collective works of poetry, prose, and stories come from the inspired minds of Plymouth's young authors.

Following creative writing workshops with University of Plymouth BA (Hons) English with Publishing students, school pupils submitted their pieces to a selection panel, in the hope to feature in this commemorative book.

Once selected, the pieces were carefully arranged alongside beautiful macro imagery taken at Plymouth's Barbican, where the Pilgrim's Atlantic journey began nearly 400 years ago.

From talented young writers...

Guided by the expertise of Miranda Spicer, Lecturer in Publishing, and Dr Kathryn Napier Gray, Associate Professor in Early American Literature, BA (Hons) English with Publishing students delivered creative writing workshops to Plymouth schools, including Stoke Damerel Community College.

"Working with the University of Plymouth has been an excellent way to showcase to our higher achieving pupils the work ethic, time and commitment it takes to become a creative writing student at a higher level institution. Adding to this, it has also been lovely to see the jubilant faces of our published students as they can see that their effort and talent has really been noticed by someone other than their English teacher," said Shauna Burroughs, English Teacher at Stoke Damerel. 

...to published authors

Three pupils from Stoke Damerel Community College had their works published in the book.

Joe Massey "I couldn't believe it when Miss Burroughs told me I had been published. I felt really proud and so did my parents."
Edie Spooner "I was really shocked at first, but then so happy that I had been published. I really surprised myself and it has given me confidence within my creative writing."
Deon Darby "It's really great that my work will be published. I am really proud of myself".

This could easily be your pupils or your work in 2019 and 2020. Keep checking the Plymouth anthology page for details on how to enter submissions for books two and three.

Developing real-world skills in publishing

Nathalie Denzey, MA Publishing, The Journey Begins Project Manager

Nathalie's persistent hard work encompassed full project management of the editing and publishing elements of the first anthology with support from Paul Honeywill, MA Publishing Manager who also manages the University Publishing Press, through which the anthology was published.

“The anthology contains a vast range of subject matter in many different forms. We’ve got stories and poems, a play and even a few drawings. Pupils wrote about the Spanish Armada, King Arthur, and getting lost in the woods. One young person even wrote about attending their mum’s graduation on the Hoe. They were not limited to just writing about the Mayflower, and it was really interesting to see all the different interpretations of the theme. The whole experience has been amazing, and I’ve learned so much,” said Nathalie.

Bringing the Mayflower story to life

Katy Cawkwell: storyteller

Katy's captivating performance of the story of the Mayflower at the launch event was inspired through working with Dr Kathryn Napier Gray, Associate Professor in Early American Literature.

"Having Kathryn's input had a big impact on the final version of my performance. Without her help, the research of my project would have taken far longer and would have missed some fascinating details.
I greatly enjoyed working with the University of Plymouth and was delighted to be involved with the launch event, which turned out to be a joyful, well-attended celebration of the young people's and the publishing students' work."

Book two: Beyond the Horizon – now open for submissions

The theme for the second book is 'Beyond the Horizon'which explores the onward transatlantic journey up to first contact with Native Americans.

Details on how to enter your creative writing piece.

Entries close on 23 November 2018.