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The next step

Writing Together has launched a national challenge to encourage schools to work with professional writers in the current school year, particularly those that have not done so before. Writing Together hopes that 1,000 more schools will have worked with a writer by this time next year and would like to hear about any projects that schools are organising.

State-funded primary, secondary and special schools in England can apply for a limited amount of funding in two categories:

* Newcomers Fund for schools that are new to working with writers or have not done so for at least five years * Innovation Fund for innovative projects using writers in unusual ways.

Applications for cross-curricular work, projects using non-fiction writers and longer-term residencies are encouraged. Between pound;250 and pound;750 may be available for a short-term residency of one to three days, with up to Pounds 1,000 if more than one school is involved.

Writing Together's other plans in 20045 include:

* establishing links with other organisations in the field of literature development * devising models for writers and teachers to work together out of school * piloting a new form of professional development for teachers based on The Poetry Society's poetryclass, but using writers of other genres such as biographical writing and drama.

For information on these projects or a copy of Writing Together's free information pack for schools, contact Nikki Marsh. Tel: 020 8516 2976.

Email: writingtogether or see Other helpful websites: Writers, courses, resources, events.

The site of the nationwide story festival on October 7-8, plus links to resources on reading, writing and creativity. How to use Kids on the Net, the young writers' project of the trAce Online Writing Centre based at Nottingham Trent University, in the classroom.

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