Lord Mayor'S Creative Writing Awards 2015

Lord Mayor'S Creative Writing Awards 2015-1
The winner in each category, poetry, story and calligraphy, was announced at a special ceremony at Leeds Civic Hall.The competition, which is in its sixth year, is organised by Leeds City Council’s Inclusion team and is part of a project which aims to increase attainment in pupils of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage.

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Our first issues featured some of the last published poems by a number of significant Australian poets, and some of the first by writers now well, well established. I am delighted to announce that Alex Kostas will be our first Summer intern.

He will be involved with many facets of the journal’s production, editing and writing.

The series was directed by Erin White and produced by Charlotte Seymour with Sue Maslin as EP.

Penelope is currently collaborating with writer/director Corrie Chen on Empty Empire, a feature film set in an ‘empty’ city inspired by Ordos in Inner Mongolia, China.

Penelope’s other credits include the documentary Love & Fury (co-written with John Hughes for ABC TV 2013) and a short film called She was She (MIFF 2014). She’s a recipient of a City of Yarra Arts Residency for The Punt Road Project (2014, with Anna Mc Grath and Rita Walsh) and a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship (2013), and was part of Film Victoria’s Catapult Lab (2012).

Her short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies, and she’s twice been shortlisted for the City of Melbourne Lord Mayor's Creative Writing Award.

The team has also been developing school to school support between the 12 schools involved in the project so that they can benefit from each other’s expertise.

Penelope studied film and theatre in Melbourne and Sydney before hitting the road to live and work in London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Honiara and Kakadu.

Attainment levels for these pupils is below their peers both in Leeds and nationally, however the gap in attainment has narrowed in recent years due to the hard work of the schools involved in the Arooj collaborative.

The Inclusion team have developed a creative curriculum project with a focus on Muslim heritage, which has had a dramatic impact in terms of engagement and motivation of pupils and parents as well as increasing attainment and attendance.

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