Case study: Freya Cushing
‘Meeting so many different people who share a passion for literature really made me think about how I felt about writing and reading.’

Freya joined our new Lit From the Inside programme for 2020. ‘Lit Insiders’ get a behind-the-scenes look at the literary arts scene in Norwich as well as opportunities to complete their Bronze Arts Award and interview writers and artists.

Over the course of the year, our Lit Insiders met every week on Zoom to programme Chrysalis: a day of free events and workshops that reflect on the cultural impact of 2020 and how we can look to a more positive future; which attracted writers and audiences from across the world. We caught up with Freya to talk about her experience of the programme and her plans for the future. Find out more about the Lit from the Inside programme here.

Did you see yourself as a writer? What kind of person were you?

When I started at Lit from the Inside I thought of myself as a person who only wrote when really inspired and not a freely or often. I was a creative person who had not found their final creative output but I was always willing to learn and find out new things.

What did you expect from the programme?

I wanted to meet new people who like writing and to discuss ideas. I also wanted to find out about new or different books and authors and thought this would be a good place to find that and speak to people about what I had heard. I also thought that I would be able to write a full story by the end of it and learn the process of that.

What has been the most useful part of the programme for you and why?

I personally really enjoyed the organisation and programming of the events, as I found this to be where my strengths were. I also enjoyed coming up with ideas which would then eventually be shared with a wide audience. This is useful to me as it gave me the chance to see how events are programmed.

I also enjoyed speaking to and hearing from authors and poets about their creative writing and their process as it allowed me to develop my own process and focus my writing skills into a organised plan, especially when I am overly stimulated with inspiration.

Another added bonus was the regular meet-ups through lockdown as it gave me a structure to my week and gave me something fun to look forward to as it was a fun moment of my week.


It gave me a structure to my week and gave me something fun to look forward to


What did you find challenging?

What I found challenging was poetry. I had never enjoyed poetry before but once I was with others that had a true passion for it I really started to enjoy listening, reading and writing it.

Did you experience an ‘aha!’ moment over the year? What changes did you notice in either your own writing, or your personal development?

I do not feel that I had one moment of ‘aha’ but a gradual build up over the year. Meeting so many different people who share a passion for literature really made me think about how I felt about writing and reading. It made me question why I was writing and who for. It was a great experience to learn new words and be inspired to start new projects. I also discovered a new found love for poetry, especially spoken word.

It has made me more confident in my writing. This includes personal documents such as my application to university as well as the stories and poetry that I now write.

Our event was what made me question what I was reading and if it was good for a diverse bookshelf. If I had read enough by different demographics and author types.


It was a great experience to learn new words and be inspired to start new projects.


What has being part of the programme done for you, which you wouldn’t otherwise wouldn’t have achieved?

Without this I never would have been able to design and programme an event. I would never have thought to do an online event, with panels and commissioned writing.

I also would not be able to write poems as well and as freely as I do now.

How will you take this experience forwards as you make your next steps?

Writing will always be my creative outlet and the processes that I learnt will constantly influence my writing. I also think that I am less scared of writing applications and just writing in general.

I think also it would help my report writing for my Environmental Science degree at university. As I can now structure my sentences and paragraphs more confidently and more easily than before.

Overall I think my confidence in writing is greater than before and that will continue forward.

Applications for Lit From the Inside 2021 are now closed. You can keep up to date with all of our upcoming opportunities for young people and be the first to hear when applications open for Lit From The Inside 2022 by signing up to our newsletter. Sign up here >>

Lit From the Inside 2020 was generously supported by Anguish’s Educational Foundation and The Norwich Freeman’s Charity.

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