Award-winning authors back Bury writing initiative


A new writing initiative is being introduced to help young people find their creative voice and tell their stories.

Driven by ‘working-class kids who carved out creative careers’, the initiative is aimed to widen opportunities.

The Pigeons and Doves scheme, based in Radcliffe, has aimed its creative writing academy at 7  to 18-year-olds in Radcliffe and Bury and brings together Bury arts organisation, Curated Place, and Bury Libraries.

Pigeons and Doves Director, Lisa Hart, said: “It is crucial creative opportunities are taken out of the institutions and to kids where they live, learn and feel comfortable.

Lisa and Hannah in Pigeons and Doves Tent, Prestwich <i>(Image: Public)</i>Youngsters at the Pigeon and Doves event’s (Image: Public)

“All of us behind Pigeons and Doves are working-class kids who made creative careers, we want to support a new generation of young talent from diverse backgrounds to begin a lifelong creative journey, become better independent learners, and feel confident telling their stories.”

With sessions led by creative professionals from Bury, including Prestwich award-winning young adult writer Cynthia Murphy, young people can visit author and playwright masterclasses; 1:1 participant support; mentoring & creative careers support.

Read more: Prestwich’s Cynthia Murphy wins Lancashire Book of the Year 2022

Other guests have included, NorthBound Book winner Adam Farrer and the award-winning storytellers of Yan Tan Tethera with more to come through the Autumn.

Cllr Richard Gold cabinet member for finance and communities said “It is great to see young people coming together and taking advantage of local schemes to help them improve their writing skills and enjoy a creative passion.

Lisa and Hannah in Pigeons and Doves Tent, Prestwich <i>(Image: Public)</i>Youngsters at the Pigeon and Doves event’s (Image: Public)

“I am delighted that Radcliffe, Prestwich and Bury Libraries are able to support such a wonderful program working alongside the great team at Pigeons and Doves.

“Supporting young people to hone and explore their passions helps enriches their lives and the community around them, and I wish all our young writers the very best for their future and urge those interested to get involved.”

Launched in summer 2022, Pigeons and Doves has already welcomed over 150 young people through its doors, offering a way for young people to express themselves without exams and assessments.

Led by teacher and writer Lisa Hart, the scheme is said to be Curated Place’s and Bury Libraries’ response to the multi-layered impacts of Covid which took away years of experience from young people.

The scheme prioritises Bury’s wards with the highest Indices of Multiple Deprivation and aims to connect communities through partnerships with local schools, teachers, cultural institutions, and teaching artists.

Pigeons and Doves have said that in the next three years they would like to have built a thriving young people’s writing community in Radcliffe and acquired a physical home for Pigeons & Doves that underpins the redevelopment of the town and cements the authentic voice of place.

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