‘It’s a good feeling to be published’: Students’ short stories brought together in new book

Norwich-based performance poet Cai Draper speaks at the Undercover Readers celebration event at the

Norwich-based performance poet Cai Draper speaks at the Undercover Readers celebration event at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Picture: Neil Hall/UEA - Credit: Neil Hall/UEA

From an army of jelly babies to talking ducks on a quest, budding writers in Norfolk have seen their best creative work published in an anthology.

Local author Alex Scarrow (best known for his young adult science fiction series Time Riders) reads

Local author Alex Scarrow (best known for his young adult science fiction series Time Riders) reads an extract from one of the young authors at UEA's Undercover Readers event at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Picture: Neil Hall/UEA - Credit: Neil Hall/UEA

Around 300 students from seven schools in Norwich, Dereham and Great Yarmouth took part in the Undercover Readers project, which aims to inspire students to consider a career in the creative industries.

Through a programme of workshops, masterclasses and author performances over the last academic year, the students have created short stories which have been brought together in a 60,000-word anthology.

The project culminated in a celebration event at the University of East Anglia (UEA) on June 27, where the stories were brought to life in readings by local author Alex Scarrow and Norwich-based performance poet Cai Draper. Students were also given an original artwork based on their stories, created by Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) students.

Joshua Kerrison, 14 and from Ormiston Venture Academy, said the inspiration for his story Happyland came months before he started writing.

All the winners with event organisers at the Undercover Readers celebration event at the University

All the winners with event organisers at the Undercover Readers celebration event at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Picture: Neil Hall/UEA - Credit: Neil Hall/UEA


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"It stayed in my head and then when I had to write a story I thought I'd reuse the idea. The whole point of the story was to make my family laugh and they thought it was funny.

"It's a good feeling to be published in the book and I'd like to use it as a stepping stone to do more writing," he said.

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