This is the story of The Journey Begins, the first of three anthologies to be created as part of the University's commitment to the Mayflower400 commemorations in 2020.

The collective works of poetry, prose, and stories come from the inspired minds of Plymouth's young authors.

Following creative writing workshops with University of Plymouth BA (Hons) English with Publishing students, school pupils submitted their pieces to a selection panel, in the hope to feature in this commemorative book.

Once selected, the pieces were carefully arranged alongside beautiful macro imagery taken at Plymouth's Barbican, where the Pilgrim's Atlantic journey began nearly 400 years ago.

From talented young writers...

Guided by the expertise of Miranda Spicer, Lecturer in Publishing, and Dr Kathryn Napier Gray, Associate Professor in Early American Literature, BA (Hons) English with Publishing students delivered creative writing workshops to Plymouth schools, including Stoke Damerel Community College.

"Working with the University of Plymouth has been an excellent way to showcase to our higher achieving pupils the work ethic, time and commitment it takes to become a creative writing student at a higher level institution. Adding to this, it has also been lovely to see the jubilant faces of our published students as they can see that their effort and talent has really been noticed by someone other than their English teacher," said Shauna Burroughs, English Teacher at Stoke Damerel. 

English with Publishing workshops in Stoke Damerel Community College, to inspire creative writing submissions for The Journey Begins.
English and creative writing workshops with Stoke Damerel Community College for Mayflower400 Writing Anthology published authors

Three pupils from Stoke Damerel Community College had their works published in the book.

Joe Massey "I couldn't believe it when Miss Burroughs told me I had been published. I felt really proud and so did my parents."
Edie Spooner "I was really shocked at first, but then so happy that I had been published. I really surprised myself and it has given me confidence within my creative writing."
Deon Darby "It's really great that my work will be published. I am really proud of myself".

This could easily be your pupils or your work in 2019 and 2020. Keep checking the Plymouth anthology page for details on how to enter submissions for books two and three.

Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Sam Davey; MA Publishing student and The Journey Begins Project Manager, Nathalie Denzey; MA Publishing Manager and University Publishing Press Manager, Paul Honeywill

Developing real-world skills in publishing

Nathalie Denzey, MA Publishing, The Journey Begins Project Manager

Nathalie's persistent hard work encompassed full project management of the editing and publishing elements of the first anthology with support from Paul Honeywill, MA Publishing Manager who also manages the University Publishing Press, through which the anthology was published.

“The anthology contains a vast range of subject matter in many different forms. We’ve got stories and poems, a play and even a few drawings. Pupils wrote about the Spanish Armada, King Arthur, and getting lost in the woods. One young person even wrote about attending their mum’s graduation on the Hoe. They were not limited to just writing about the Mayflower, and it was really interesting to see all the different interpretations of the theme. The whole experience has been amazing, and I’ve learned so much,” said Nathalie.

Katy Cawkwell, story teller

Bringing the Mayflower story to life

Katy Cawkwell: storyteller

Katy's captivating performance of the story of the Mayflower at the launch event was inspired through working with Dr Kathryn Napier Gray, Associate Professor in Early American Literature.

"Having Kathryn's input had a big impact on the final version of my performance. Without her help, the research of my project would have taken far longer and would have missed some fascinating details.
I greatly enjoyed working with the University of Plymouth and was delighted to be involved with the launch event, which turned out to be a joyful, well-attended celebration of the young people's and the publishing students' work."

...all underpinned by academic expertise

The writing anthology project is one part of a wider commitment the University has to the upcoming Mayflower commemorations.

Our academics from varied disciplines across the University are engaging in inspiring projects, including our partnership with The Box, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship and the annual Illuminate Festival of Light.

Illuminate and Thanksgiving - Mayflower 400
The completed anthology, handed out to the creative young people of Plymouth at the launch event

Third anthology: Learning the Land 

The theme for the third book is 'Learning the Land'. 

Following the success of the last two anthologies, if you're under 19 years of age and would like the chance to become a published author in this fantastic collection of poetry, prose and stories, find out more here.

Second anthology: Beyond the Horizon 

The theme for the second book was 'Beyond the Horizon'which explored the onward transatlantic journey up to first contact with Native Americans.

Beyond the Horizon hero image