Introducing Pen to Print…

Pen to Print is a London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Libraries creative writing project including, classes, workshops, author events and competitions aiming to support new and emerging writing talent in East London. We began in 2014 with ACE Grants for Arts funding and have now been awarded National Portfolio Organisation funding as one of the first seven library organisations to be included in the portfolio.

Our Change Creation Plan

We need to assess and put in place the right governance and not for profit structure for the project to move into being an independent organisation. We want to develop a strategic fundraising plan with a focus on income diversification as the project moves away from the financial and procedural limitations of a Local Authority, and takes into account the potential of scaling the programme of activity and how risk can be mitigated in a planned and sustainable manner.

The longer term impacts for the organisation taking part in Change Creation will include:

  • The project lead gaining the knowledge and insight to take forward the programme’s vision and plans with confidence.
  • The successful move to establishing the project as an independent not for profit organisation that has the right governance structure, policies, procedures and systems in place to deliver its programme of work effectively and with impact.
  • A clear income generation and diversification strategy to support resilience, building on the success of gaining National Portfolio Organisation status and the recognition of a potential reduction in local authority funding.
  • A realistic and achievable growth strategy for the programme into neighbouring East London boroughs and outside London (for e.xample Essex) which establishes Pen to Print as a viable and recognised model for delivering creative hubs for communities through libraries.
  • More opportunities for adults and young people from across the richly diverse local communities to engage with the programme through an increase in artistic output creating vibrant writing communities underpinned by partnerships across the publishing and literature sectors.
  • Increased opportunities for participants to develop their writing careers, promote their writing to a wider public, seek agents, publishers and employment opportunities.
Lena Smith

Lena is the Library National Portfolio Organisation Manager leading on the Pen to Print project on behalf of London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. She began her career as a Library Assistant in 2005 and began working on the Pen to Print project in 2014 going on to became Reader Development Officer in 2015 and has been responsible for the project management and programme delivery including the annual festival ReadFest.

Ruth Harrison

Ruth is the Director of Spread the Word, London’s writer development agency, where she is responsible for leading the company artistically and strategically. As a partner representative on the Pen to Print advisory group, Ruth will help to drive change by bringing her extensive experience of working in the not for profit arts sector and specifically in the areas of literature and building and sustaining smaller arts organisations.