YNAC Alumni Blog v.3

“Being part of this nurturing environment really helped my confidence in my art grow. I learnt how to address an audience, choose a set of poetry to perform, adjust a microphone, and talk to the producers of the events I was speaking at.” Katie, YNA Collective 2019

When I moved to Norwich in September of 2018, to start my Creative Writing Masters at UEA, I didn’t know anyone in the city. I didn’t know how to get myself involved in arts events, who to connect with, and where to find my tribe.

Joining YNAF in January of 2019 changed all that for me. The application was easy to fill out, and the conversations with the collective leaders were warm and friendly.

I soon found out that the Collective is an eclectic assortment of all types of arts creative, who take an interest in arts production, arts journalism, radio, writing, photography, music, performance, dance and more – you name it, I had suddenly made a friend that could get me involved in it. The Collective is a brilliant name for it in this way – it is a collection of people with differing but similar passions, that lean on and build up each other to allow for development and growth.

The organisers of the collective did a wonderful job in paying attention to everyone’s individual interests. As a writer, I started writing reviews of arts events and theatre performances for the Collective’s blog. I felt, after seeing one particular show, that I wanted to respond with poetry in my review. The Young Norfolk Arts organisers soon picked up on this, and I was then given the opportunity to perform my poetry at local arts events, as well as having my poetry published in the arts ‘zine that the collective produce together every year.

Being part of this nurturing environment really helped my confidence in my art grow. I learnt how to address an audience, choose a set of poetry to perform, adjust a microphone, and talk to the producers of the events I was speaking at.

Showing my enthusiasm for these opportunities lead to more. I was able to judge for the National Centre for Writing’s Creative Writing Competition, meet the Young Poet Laureate, and judge for a Young People’s Poetry Slam, to name a few.

Fast forward to 2020. Though I miss Norwich and YNAF dearly, I am now based in London. I spent my summer performing poetry at The Swansea Fringe in Wales, have been further published in my dream literary journals, such as Ink, Sweat & Tears, and I am now cutting my teeth in the North London poetry scene. I achieved a Distinction in my Masters dissertation, which has now been recognised by and nominated for the Snoo Wilson award. My ability to do these creative activities whilst working a full time job, comes from the confidence and motivation that working with the Young Norfolk Arts Collective gave me during my Masters Year. I now often go back to visit Norwich, and still work with the YNAF. It is lovely to be remembered and kept in mind by them well after you leave the city – they become a creative ally and colleague for life, always looking for and after young talent.

Recruitment for the Collective is open until Sunday 26 January, find out more and how to apply at youngnorfolkarts.org.uk/collective

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