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Our News

31 May 2012

Cardiff and Vale College students win five out of thirteen places on Beacons Project

Five Cardiff and Vale College A Level students have been selected to attend the Hay Festival this week as part of the Beacons Project. The learners won five out of just thirteen places available to A Level Literature students from across Wales, giving them the opportunity to spend a week at the festival taking part in creative writing workshops and attending a wide range of festival events.

The Beacons Project is a prestigious scheme attached to the Hay on Wye Literature Festival which offers aspiring young writers a unique opportunity to spend a week at the Festival immersed in literature and arts and taking part in a variety of workshops. All costs are covered by the project including food, accommodation, workshops, and entry to events.

Cardiff and Vale College students Jac Bryant, 17, from Barry; Conor Derbyshire, 17, from Llanedeyrn; Alex E. Jackson, 17, from Radyr; Thomas Clements, 18, from Llandaff; and Liam Hemmings, 19, from Penarth, will take part in events aimed at encouraging their creativity and linking the landscape and environment of the Beacons to art and literature. 19 year-old Liam said: It means a lot to be selected for The Beacons Project as I have been writing poetry for a few years now and it's nice to get recognised for some of my poems. It took me seven hours of non-stop typing to get the collection of poems finished so it shows my hard work has paid off. As well as being able to meet other young writers in Wales, the project will also allow me to talk to famous poets and authors which will aid me with ideas for any poems I write in the future.”

Activities will include guided walks in the National Park, creative writing workshops with published writers and meeting journalists from The Telegraph as well as attending many talks and performances over the course of the week. Previous participants on the Project have since gone on to study and

work in a variety of creative fields including writing for performance, publishing, media and poetry.

Beacons Project Coordinator John Meredith, praised the high standard of work submitted. He said “The Project is bringing A Level students from across Wales to experience and participate in the landscape and literature of the Telegraph Hay Festival 2012.

“Currently there is no comparable residential project running in Wales. The Hay Festival is the biggest literacy festival in Wales and attracts many acclaimed writers from around the world. Consequently, the Beacons Project offers an unusually stimulating cultural experience in a rural environment.

“Unique opportunities are offered by the Beacons Project for Welsh students to work with exceptional writers and journalists in a highly creative and stimulating environment. The Hay Festival’s new relationship with the Telegraph has opened up a new dimension for the students. The Telegraph is very keen to involve a number of their journalists, firstly to give the students a chance to learn about journalistic writing and secondly to give the journalists an opportunity to spend time with a group of well-informed and enthusiastic young people.”

The students were chosen using creative writing pieces which were submitted by their tutor, Helen Wilkins. Helen said “I’m delighted that our students have the opportunity to take part in this prestigious scheme. They are really excited about it - I’m confident that they will have an enjoyable and inspirational week.”

Participants are expected to write while they are on the project, and to contribute to the groups' online diary about their experience of the festival.