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Felixstowe Library to showcase local young people's writing talents at launch

An event to celebrate a special book showcasing young people’s writing talents takes place this Friday at Felixstowe Library.

The presentation is part of the Felixstowe Book Festival. It is led by author Hayley Long in collaboration with Felixstowe Library and Suffolk Libraries’ BLOC youth arts programme, working with students from Felixstowe Academy.

The creative writing project was launched in December and has involved students from Felixstowe Academy recording their poems and thoughts about the town. Their work has been collected in a book, which will be launched at the event with some of the students performing their work. Some of the students have chosen to create short films inspired by their writing, which will be featured on our website following the event.

In April 2018, we were awarded NPO status by Arts Council England. BLOC (Building Libraries on Creativity) is our youth-led programme funded by the Arts Council.

Melissa Matthews, creative programmes manager at Suffolk Libraries, said: "Felixstowe Library has been part of the Felixstowe Book Festival for many years. From the beginning this has been a personal project close to our hearts. It was important we created something which was meaningful which celebrated Felixstowe town and the community.

"Working with Felixstowe-born author Hayley Long, we asked the students to paint a picture of Felixstowe in their own words. What they have produced is more beautiful and life-affirming than we could have even imagined."

"This beautifully produced anthology of the students’ writings will not only change the public’s perceptions of what to expect from their local libraries but hopefully build the confidence of these young writers to continue being creative. We’re really thrilled with the end result and hope many local people will read and enjoy it."

Imogen Tink, library and information adviser at Felixstowe Library, added: "It has been a pleasure working with Hayley Long and the students from Felixstowe Academy over the past few months. Hayley has inspired and encouraged a brilliant band of young creative writers who have themselves managed to produce a remarkable collection of writings and, in the process, have done their school and their town proud.

"I hope this project has reiterated many important messages, especially that libraries are a place for creativity and for everyone to use and enjoy.”

Local design company Silk Pearce have created the final anthology, including artwork inspired by scenes from around the town. Each student will be given a copy to keep following their performance on Friday and limited copies will also be available to buy at the Felixstowe Book Festival.

The event takes place at Felixstowe Library on Friday 28 June at 6pm. Tickets are free but space is limited, so booking is essential.

The library rests on the edge,
resolute and unwavering.
Inside lay stories of pirates and kings and queens,
Witches, wizards and warriors.

Books on law
Books on languages
Books on how to craft origami.
A place to read
But also to learn,
To unwind.

— participant