First Story Named The London Book Fair’s Charity of the Year 2016

First Story Named The London Book Fair’s Charity of the Year 2016

First Story Named The London Book Fair’s Charity of the Year 2016

London, 25 February 2016: The London Book Fair has announced that First Story – a charity which believes in changing lives through writing – will be its 2016 Charity of the Year.

Founded in 2008, First Story brings some of the most prestigious writers in the UK into secondary schools, particularly in areas of deprivation and disadvantage. They work with pupils to foster creativity and confidence, helping students find their voice through creative writing.

As the LBF nominated charity, First Story will exhibit at the Fair and receive extensive marketing support in the lead up to and during the Fair, year-round promotion on The London Book Fair website, and an opportunity to fundraise via a button on the LBF website.

Jacks Thomas, Director at The London Book Fair, said: “First Story undertakes truly inspirational work, and we are delighted that it will be our Charity of the Year in 2016, when we celebrate our 45th anniversary. Providing a link between young people from all backgrounds and the broader literary community, it plays an important role in encouraging our writers and readers of the future to engage with literature, which can only be a force for good in the larger publishing ecosystem. I hope all our exhibitors and visitors will have time to visit them on their stand.”

Currently working with 50 schools across the UK – including in the East Midlands, Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire, London, Oxfordshire and West Yorkshire – First Story’s patron is HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, whom LBF welcomed to the Fair as a special guest in 2014.

Emily Webb, Interim Executive Director at First Story, added: “At First Story we change lives through writing: this is a bold statement, and it’s one we make because that is what the students we work with tell us time and time again. We have seen how our workshops can empower young people, build their confidence and foster their creativity. We are delighted to have been selected as The London Book Fair Charity of the Year, and to have the opportunity to promote our work to a community that shares our belief in the power of storytelling. We are currently preparing our expansion in the North and South West of the country, and putting together plans for a major national writing initiative to reach even more young people. With the weight of the literary community behind us, we know we can achieve so much more. We look forward to seeing you at the First Story stand and hope many of you will attend our seminar: ‘First Story: How you can change lives through writing’ on 14th April.”

LBF has a long history of supporting book-related charities, and the launch of its Charity of the Year programme in 2014 formalised this support. LBF nominated Book Aid International as its first Charity of the Year in 2014, and Booktrust in 2015.

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Media enquiries: Please contact Dani Freeman or Edwina Boyd-Gibbins at Midas PR: 020 7361 7860, /

Notes to editors:

THE LONDON BOOK FAIR, OLYMPIA, LONDON: Tuesday 12-Thursday 14 April 2016


The London Book Fair (LBF) is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking place every spring in the world’s premier publishing and cultural capital, it is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. LBF brings you direct access to customers, content and emerging markets. LBF 2016, the 45th Fair, will take place from Tuesday 12-Thursday 14 April 2016, Olympia London. LBF’s London Book and Screen Week will run for the third year, with the book fair as the pivotal three day event within a seven day programme. London Book and Screen Week will begin on Monday 11 April. For further information, please visit:


First Story changes lives through writing. We know that writing can empower young people and foster their literacy, creativity and self-esteem. Our programme brings acclaimed writers into secondary schools serving low-income communities. We are currently running fifty writing residencies throughout the UK, working with over 1,000 young people, and preparing our expansion in the North and South West of the UK. Through our weekly workshops, students gain skills that can underpin their success in school, support their transition to employment and enhance the quality of their lives. Every year we inspire more young people to explore their imaginations, write stories, share their experiences and realise that their voices have value. Find out more about our work at

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