A social enterprise that helps people start, improve and promote writing/books, whatever age, and whatever stage they're at (for fun, health/wellbeing and/or publishing). We are creating an online community platform where people can meet other writers, access support/feedback, and professional services, as well as an annual book festival in Midlothian to showcase their work.
We work with schools providing authors, illustrators and storytellers alongside publishing projects so that the students can see their work in print. Alternatively if the school has already done a writing project and would like to publish it, we can do that too- helping enterprising schools raise funds through the sale of their own books.
Our school years make up a formative part of our lives and who we become as adults. When I look back at my time at school there are a few events that stick out as more significant than others. For me, one of those instances was when Mary Turner Thomson joined my S2 History class to help us write a book about the Transatlantic Slave Trade [FOUR LINKS IN THE CHAIN].
"The fun parts of this project are easy to remember, us choosing our favourite colour, splitting into groups and creating characters based on them. In a class of 13 year olds, imagining ourselves in the place of the characters we created made the tragedy of this history more tangible and the loss more significant. Though the subject of our particular book was heavy, approaching it in the supportive and team-building environment that Mary and our History teacher built for us made the experience a positive one. Being able to see the fruits of our hard work with our names on the cover was definitely a proud moment in our young lives.
"On a more personal note, the experience of seeing a book's formation from start to finish was the initial spark of inspiration that led me onto my current career path. At 23 years old now, it has been a decade since I first met Mary Turner Thomson and yet I am continuing the lessons she taught us by pursuing my own career in publishing after studying Scottish literature at university and continuing on to my current Masters degree. As an, obviously, big fan of books having Mary teach us about the publishing process all those years ago was like getting to peak behind a curtain that only adults were allowed past. I'm sure the majority of people would consider creating a book to be beyond the means of a group of 13 year olds but throughout the experience I cannot remember Mary ever doubting our abilities or demonstrating anything but utter faith in what we could achieve. The confidence this inspired is something I think every young person should get to experience and I definitely consider myself lucky that I was able to.
We have worked together with Mary on five projects now. She is an inspiration and someone who just gets things done. When you talk to Mary you might have had an idea in your head for ages and not realised it was there. Very quickly she inspires the thoughts to pop out!
She manages projects from initial conversations to fruition. Our pupils have benefited massively from working with her and at this year's P7 assembly I asked who had published a book. A simple question I suppose but not one you would normally ask an audience of 12 year olds. Almost every child put their hand up! This is Mary's real legacy, making dreams come alive!"
"Winning the Creative Schools Award is a reflection of all the people who have worked with our school. Mary is a massive part of that and she definitely deserves credit for getting us the award!
Participating in this project has been a terrific example of A Curriculum for Excellence. Our P7 pupils have responded with great enthusiasm and been fully engaged in all the wonderful active learning experiences. Many of the ambitions of the new curriculum have been reflected in this opportunity to work in partnership with an author. The children have gained a very good understanding of the process of writing through to publishing and they have further developed their literacy skills including communication, creativity and critical thinking.
Working with Mary Turner Thomson has enriched and enhanced learning and provided an opportunity for our pupils to develop an enterprising approach and skills for life