Birmingham Stories celebrates National Writing Day

24 Jun 2020

This National Writing Day, Dr Ruth Gilligan shares her advice via our newly launched Birmingham Stories social media channels about how to find story-writing inspiration. Ruth suggests that if people are stuck for a creative prompt they should just take a look at the news - after all, in this city we are surrounded by stories!

Ruth is an expert storyteller: she’s a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at University of Birmingham and a best-selling novelist. She has also hosted ‘story exchange’ projects between teenagers from Birmingham and overseas, which will resume once social distancing allows.

This National Writing Day, Dr Ruth Gilligan shares her advice on how to find story-writing inspiration. Ruth suggests that if you're stuck for a creative prompt then you should just take a look at the news - after all, in this city we are surrounded by stories! We hope you enjoy - and let us know if it sparks any creative writing ideas!

Posted by Birmingham Stories on Wednesday, 24 June 2020

The Birmingham Stories Facebook and Instagram pages will be home to content produced in collaboration with Ruth and her colleagues at the University of Birmingham, Dr Michaela Mahlberg and Dr Kate Rumbold. Teenagers, adults and families can expect exciting ideas, resources and competitions based around a wide-range of themes from storytelling to sportspeople to Shakespeare.

What better day to give creative writing a go than National Writing Day? I am passionate about showing people that putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) shouldn’t be daunting. Looking at the news headlines can be a great way to get some inspiration; it also encourages us to think more deeply about people and stories around the world.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on the Birmingham Stories Facebook and Instagram pages to see if anyone finds the advice in my video useful. I can’t wait to see what people come up with!

Dr Ruth Gilligan, Researcher for Birmingham Stories


The Birmingham Stories Hub Manager, Harinder Matharu, says:

“We want our social media pages to be a source of education and entertainment. Ruth’s tips have certainly made me look at today’s headlines in a different way!”

New National Literacy Trust research showed that creative writing is on the up in lockdown. The report showed that more children and young people are writing short stories or fiction (40%), letters (39%), diaries or journals (27%) and poems (21%) than they did before lockdown. This is excellent news – and we hope Ruth’s video encourages more young people and adults to give creative writing a go.”