Writer in Residence: Creating the story of Little Mouse
In 2010, Scottish Book Trust was awarded funding via the Scottish Arts Council’s pARTners fund to run the Writer in Residence project in partnership with Home-Start. The programme consisted of sixteen workshops in which the selected writer worked collaboratively with a Home-Start group of parents to generate ideas for a children’s picture book with text. The picture book was then published and distributed to young children across Scotland as part of our book gifting programme.
Emma Richardson from the Star Project shares her experiences on the programme.
While facilitating the Family Group for Home Start Renfrewshire, I was delighted to play a key role in Scottish Book Trust’s Writer in Residence programme. We applied for the programme as a group because we knew as an established but progressive collection of 16 mums (myself included) we could support Scottish Book Trust to make this project something fabulous. Which we all pulled off!
The writing process took several months and wasn’t without setbacks, but the emotional rollercoaster added to the value of the project for the individuals, groups and the organisations involved. Everyone knows the wonderful book “Little Mouse” by Alison Murray as the end product, but the project impact has gone beyond the proposed outcomes.
From my own personal point of view I have continued to work with Scottish Book Trust in a variety of capacities and I love it. The additions to my family support tool kit offered through Bookbug, Assertive Outreach and the Scottish Book Trust website are priceless. I remain in contact with many of the professionals I met along the way, and together we work towards an equality of opportunity in early years. I love seeing the benefits of book sharing, play, rhyming and softness in the families I work with.
The group was a mixed bag, including mums who may not typically mix, but friendships were formed and respect and understanding established. Most are still in touch via social networking as a minimum, some attend family events together and remain firm friends. All have a shared sense of pride and achievement from being part of something that was special, challenging and quite simply brilliant.