Our writing programme was back for a second run – this time with even more sessions, guests and creative participants.

Creative Writing at the Museum 2.0 was a 6-week online programme that introduced young people to the place of writing in museums and enabled them to explore and experiment with this role. Creatively and skilfully, participants responded to museum collections while also articulating their interests and expressing themselves on issues that were important to them.

The programme content included a wide range of writing forms – object labels, poetry, exhibition writing, reviews, blogs and social media content. Sessions were facilitated by the programme lead Niamh Kelly and also a series of guest facilitators. These included talented local poet, Mícheál McCann, one of the wonderful Curators of Art at NMNI, Anna Liesching, and The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s fantastic Marketing and Comms Manager (Northern Ireland), Gail Whyte.

Together, we discussed many ideas and themes around writing and language in museums – such as accessibility, creativity, criticality, personal connection and storytelling. Then participants put the insights from these discussions into practice in their writing. They challenged what object labels can do, they penned poetry that played on perspective and collecting. They devised their own exhibition labels and curated with their own language, they created engaging online content for social media. Lastly, participants explored their own ideas, thoughts and voices on museums, culture and heritage in the blog format.

(Re)collections: Echoes and Perspectives Written in 2020

The amazing outcomes of the Creative Writing programmes have been comprised in a series of publications, designed by RRR participants and talented illustrator Hannah Sharp (who was part of the first Creative Writing programme).

Importantly, every aspect of the publication for the second run of the programme – from the title and design to the content itself – was led by participants, inspired by their ideas and experiences through design sessions and opportunities for input.

We hope you enjoy reading these creative responses, in a design that authentically showcases them. Flick through the digital version below or find a limited supply of physical copies available at Ulster Museum in the near future – just keep an eye on our socials for updates.