I’ve worked as a Writer in Residence in a variety of settings. My first writing residency was for Lancaster LitFest: I was sent into the Ribble Valley to set up writing groups and literary events in small towns and villages. What a treat! Driving back through the Trough of Bowland under a canopy of stars I felt truly privileged. At around the same time I worked with another writer for a week in a primary school, using the surrounding countryside as a source of inspiration. The week culminated in a performance featuring every child in the school. In a more recent residency, a week in a newspaper office led to the broadcasting of poems over the tannoy, and one-to-one session with journalists who were also poets.
In 2006 I was a writer in residence for the British Council, spending a week in Uganda as part of the Crossing Borders programme run by Lancaster University. I’d never worked with such motivated, passionate writers. We worked all day every day as the scent of the frangipani tree drifted in the open windows. As always in a residency, I felt I learnt as much from them as they did from me.