Fore Street Stories

Call out! Fore Street Stories - a writing project by Bookbag

We have 10 places available for a Bookbag creative project that will take place over the summer, culminating in a 48-hour writing challenge in September. We would love to hear from young (age 18-30) poets, writers, and creatives who live in Exeter to become ‘writers in residence’, connecting them with independent businesses, people, and places on Fore Street.

Set on the hill in the old West Quarter, Fore Street has always been a hub for trade in Exeter. During the 19th and 20th-century the area was central to the newspaper and printing trade, and today, the street is home to more independent businesses than anywhere else in the city. We want to celebrate Fore Street with new stories, taking inspiration from the area to empower new voices from Exeter.

We’re looking for early stage writers, essayists or poets. You may or may not have published work. Perhaps you write phrases in your notes app, scribble poems on the bus, or would just like to take part to kick start your creative practice. 

Under the mentorship of writer Davina Quinlivan and Bookbag, ideas will be formed and connections with Fore Street businesses made. You’ll then take part in a 48 Hour Challenge where over the course of a weekend you’ll work with authors, arts lecturers, local storymakers, and artists to find your voice, complete a piece of writing, and print a pamphlet of your collective work. Whether story, non fiction, essay, or poem, we want to help you install a DIY ethos to your practice so you’re inspired to keep on writing, making and producing -  and with a newly found network of fellow writers to support you.

To launch the pamphlet, we’ll showcase the work with a launch event at Bookbag in McCoys Arcade. We’ll distribute the pamphlets at independent cafes, shops, libraries and more across Exeter for a city-wide show of the writing.

To express interest, please send an email to by 21st July telling us why you'd like to be a part of the project. You need to be an Exeter resident (or student resident), available to meet over the summer, and around for the 48 Hour Challenge weekend (dates tbc but probably early September).

Fore Street Stories was commissioned by Creative Arc, a collaboration between the University of Exeter (UoE) and Exeter City Council (ECC) to deliver a programme of cultural activity across the city.

Our project artwork was created by artist and Fore Street resident Creative Weirdo.