We’ve been in our new Hockley venue for just over six months now, and have seen us open our slightly dusty doors to host book launches, writing courses, play performances, poetry workshops, and festival goers. It’s a world away from what we could do in our previous, smaller premises, but we know there’s more the studio can do for its members. So the informal topic of last week’s social was using the space in the future. The thoughts and opinions coming from new and not so new members was fantastic- what’s gone well, what could go better, what we could do with an accessible, friendly city centre venue. By the end of the evening, we’d drawn up a menu of great things that would really build on the successes of the last six months.
The next step is to make it happen – and that involves all of us. We have one paid member of staff (Development Director Pippa Hennessey), which means there’s a limit to what can be achieved without extra help and support from our members.
Nottingham Writers’ Studio is more of a kitchen than a restaurant – a working studio space members can actively use to help them grow as a writer, rather than waiting for someone else to think of the same idea. Sometimes that’s a quiet space to work and discuss, sometimes that’s a spoken word event they plan and organise. Sometimes that’s a course they design and run in a space that wants them to become a better prepared writer for a 21st century where the writing is only one part of a writer’s career.
It can be as big as starting a new festival, or as small as linking a video of a member’s performance to a blog. Or just changing a lightbulb so everything looks nice and welcoming when we have visitors. But the success of Nottingham Writers’ Studio starts with members getting into the creative kitchen and, well, creating.
There are many places that will feed your hunger to become a better writer. You can wait for them to come up with your dream writer’s menu, or you can get stuck in, right now, and start to create it for yourself (and with any luck, finds something you can then use elsewhere).
It’s what makes Nottingham Writers’ Studio unique, and as a member, you’re a part of that.
Now wash your hands and get cooking.