The carnival of creativity

Hundreds of new writers and readers joined our growing global community at the #foundfiction writing festival – an action-packed creative event at Leeds Central Library.

Hosted by #foundfiction founder and organiser Steve Clarkson, the event featured panel discussions, writing workshops and literary stunts aimed at empowering writers with the vision, belief and skills needed to put pen to paper.

Here’s what we had in store:

Panel Discussion with Otis Mensah, Laura Potts and Chris Nickson

Three prominent writers revealed their creative secrets, discussing how they approach writing and find inspiration.

~ Otis Mensah is a hip hop artist and the Poet Laureate of Sheffield
~ Laura Potts is an award-winning poet and playwright for BBC Radio
~ Chris Nickson is a prolific crime novelist, journalist and biographer who we worked with on The Hanging Psalm story hunt

Writing Workshops with Izzy Brittain and Lence

Attendees learned how to sharpen their writing skills in a series of quick-fire, immersive workshops. They practised how to write to rhythm, build empathy with your readers and bring out stories within stories.

In these creative exercises, they got the chance to sharpen their writing skills and share their work with the rest of the group. And boy, was there an impressive amount of talent in the room!

The workshops were led by:

Izzy Brittain – a Yorkshire born and based performance poet, dance artist and yoga teacher
Lence – a prolific hip hop and grime artist who performs at spoken word events across Yorkshire, merging poetry and rap

Literary Stunts

Over the course of the day there were several interactive creative stunts taking place in between the discussions and workshops. This included:

~ Writing Desk – where attendees co-created a short story one line at a time.
~ Writing’s on the Wall – an incomplete sentence displayed on the wall where attendees filled in the blanks, with some interesting results. Hosted by Leeds poet Adekola.
~ Micro Stories – around the Library we distributed micro stories bringing everyday objects and locations to life through literature.
~ Lit Bots – minds were blown by Jan Hopkins’ artificial intelligence text generator, which was autonomously generating creative text based on prose fed to it by attendees throughout the festival.
~ Tall Tales – attendees wrote their ideas for stories, poems and songs and hung them on a branch on a tree, inspired by Yoko Ono’s Wishing Tree. Over the course of the day it blossomed with creativity. Many thanks to Playground and Urban Workbench for creating the tree!
~ No Distractions – writers prone to distraction could shut themselves off from the world to create stories in peace, wearing blindfolds and noise-cancelling headphones. Hosted by Lence.

What did people think?

This event was a true carnival of creativity, with so many memorable and engaging activities that had never been staged before. We had so much fun – and it looks like our guests did too…