In 2011, arts organisation and small publisher Crystal Clear Creators (www.crystalclearcreators.org.uk) received funding from the Arts Council to run a national competition to find talented, up-and-coming authors who had yet to achieve a major publication. From over 100 entrants, the judges chose six aspiring writers: Hannah Stevens, Aly Stoneman, Jessica Mayhew, Charles Lauder Jr, Andrew ‘Mulletproof’ Graves and Roy Marshall.
The winning writers were given the unique opportunity to receive mentoring from established and professional authors, to develop a pamphlet-length collection of stories or poems. The mentors included well-known poets Mark Goodwin (winner of the East Midlands Book Award, 2011), Deborah Tyler-Bennett, Maria Taylor, Wayne Burrows and novelist David Belbin.
Over the next few months, the six winning writers were given advice by the mentors, as they gradually put together their pamphlets. As one of the mentors, David Belbin, said: ‘This was a pleasure and a challenge. The project is all about bringing the best out of talented, emerging writers.’ Hannh Stevens, one of the winning writers, commented: ‘Taking part in the mentoring scheme has been a brilliant opportunity for me, offering helpful guidance and a constructive focus on my creative work that I would otherwise not have had.’ Roy Marshall, one of the other winning writers, said: the mentoring ‘was invaluable, not only to the selection and editing of poems for this pamphlet, but also tor my long term development as a poet.’
The pamphlets have since been edited, professionally designed, printed, and, as of March 2012, are being published by Crystal Clear Creators (CCC) Publishing in Loughborough and Leicester. Events and readings will take place throughout the East Midlands, to mark the launch of this major new series of poetry and short story pamphlets in Leicestershire. Co-director of Crystal Clear Creators, Jonathan Taylor, said: ‘We’re hoping that these six pamphlets not only launch the successful writing careers of six wonderful, and very different, new writers, but will also be the first in a long-running and successful series of publications by our organisation.’
The project was funded by Arts Council England, with the support of Writing East Midlands (www.writingeastmidlands.co.uk). The pamphlets are available to buy at £4 each from www.crystalclearcreators.org.uk, or you can send a cheque payable to ‘Crystal Clear Creators’ to: Jonathan Taylor, Crystal Clear Creators, c/o Faculty of Art, Design & Humanities, De Montfort University, Leicester, LE1 9BH, U.K.
For further information on this unique project, please contact Jonathan Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or Robin Webber-Jones at email@example.com. The six authors are all available for interviews, and the pamphlets are available for reviews. www.crystalclearcreators.org.uk Join our group at www.facebook.com