Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

MA Creative Writing students work with Oxford Academy pupils on Chocolate is the Word writing project

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Chocolate is the Word

At the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival on Friday 30 March, in Christchurch Hall, a unique new book was launched. Four Brookes MA Creative Writing students spent 3 months with a group of twelve 11-12 year-olds from the Oxford Academy in Littlemore, on a writing project called Chocolate is the Word. The Alumni-funded Brookes Student Community Fund supported the publication of the stories which emerged from the collaboration. The four Brookes students involved were Louise McGrigor, Becky Hitchens, Yvonne Lyon and Jimmy Broomfield. Jimmy said “It’s been a wonderful three months, the pupils responded to the project with great enthusiasm. This event and publication has been the perfect culmination to the project and will hopefully continue to inspire them”. The Academy students read out their work at the Oxford Literary Festival to an audience of fellow students, family and friends. Oxford’s City Poet, and Brookes Creative Writing Fellow, Kate Clanchy, responded to the poems, and said it was a 'magical morning in Harry Potter Hall. The children's stories were fantastic, but even more special was the audience of parents and fellow pupils reading and listening together.' Dr James Hawes, novelist and host of the Festival session, said “When one side gives its time and skill for nothing, and the other side responds with such enthusiasm, something really special happens.” It is intended that this will be just the first stage of a widening set of collaborations between the English and Modern Languages Department, the Oxford Literary Festival and the Oxford Academy.