British Council literature projects across Russia have sparked inspiration on both sides and have brought British writers and reader development experts face to face with a boundless enthusiasm and some challenging questions.

 

Client, stakeholders, partners

  • Students
  • teachers
  • librarians

Focus

Creative writing workshops

The project 

British Council literature projects across Russia have sparked inspiration on both sides and have brought British writers and reader development experts face to face with a boundless enthusiasm and some challenging questions.

The authors do much more than read from their work. The aim is to encourage adults and young people to explore their own critical and writing skills and to become more confident and expressive in their use of the English language.

In February 2007, teen fiction authors Matt Whyman and Jamila Gavin travelled to Yekaterinburg, Samara, Volgograd, Sochi and Moscow to run a series of creative writing workshops for students, teachers and librarians. There were also video-links between cities, and the writers regularly updated a blog about the trip on enCompassCulture.com.

In October 2007 the British Council took part in Bibliobraz, an international festival of school libraries which is organised by the Centre for Russian Language Development. During the festival programme the British Council hosted meetings with writers and carried out professional workshops and round-table discussions for book industry specialists and literature administrators, reading groups and teacher's seminars. We also hosted the British Council's Magic Pencil exhibition of UK children's book illustrators. It offered a unique opportunity for participants to gain an insight into contemporary literature for teenagers from the UK and to find out about reader development programmes.

What the stakeholders say

It was the first time I had seen a writer.  He was completely different from what I expected: not an old important man with faded eyes and a beard, but an amusing narrator. I was so engrossed in listening that the end of reading came as a shock.
Young participant at Mal Peet's session at Bibliobraz

Moscow was a great energy boost compared to my experience in schools back home, because of both the linguistic ability and the sheer enthusiasm of the young people.
UK author Mal Peet

I want to thank everyone involved for making the last two weeks so special. From the British Council staff to the students who attended the workshops, it's been a unique experience which I hope has broadened horizons for everyone involved. I have loved every minute, and would do it all again.
UK author Matt Whyman

  

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