Flourishing futures from residency

July was an exciting month for Swedish young writers in general as well as Young Writers Lab in particular with a series of events At The Fringe- International Arts Festival in Tranås.

A strong thread for the development of youth writing has been sewn with the support of Peter Nyberg, Regional Literary Development Officer for Jönköping. Two local young writers were selected through the Tranås Writers Award to be “writers of the place” at Piraten Huset, the former Storgatan home of Fritiof Nilsson Piraten. The idea came from a residency that Welsh poet Natalie Holborow participated in at 5, Cwmdonkin Drive, Swansea; the house in Wales that is celebrated as the birthplace and childhood home of Dylan Thomas. Natalie was also a Coracle Europe Literary Resident with Kultivera in 2014.

Ullias Berglund and Joanna Hellström relished the opportunity to respond to Nilsson’s writing and to draw inspiration from the same place in which he had set down his stories 70 years ago. During the residency Ullias and Joanna were mentored by Welsh poet and Director of write4word, Dominic Williams, and Swedish poet, Freke Räihä.

Ullias said of the Piraten Huset residency that: “it meant a lot to my motivation and inspiration. It was great to discuss writing and creativity with such talented people as Joanna, Dominic and Freke, and to have feedback to improve. I worked on a collection of poems about things like summer, anxiety and relationships. I also wrote a story in the same style of Huckleberry Finn, but with two girls as the main characters. I’ll always keep writing, especially spoken word poems, and I already have some gigs booked”

With mentoring from international writers, the inspiration of place, and the knowledge that this kind of impetus helped Natalie Holborow, I am confident that Ullias and Joanna will continue to flourish as writers.

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