Penned Up

A festival in a prison. Penned Up is a unique model for a cross-artform literature festival in a prison that was developed by LLL in partnership with reader development consultant David Kendall, (a former chair of LLL who is widely experienced at developing literary and literacy projects in prisons). Configured as a two week daytime festival in which prisoners (as well as being the audience) become involved in all aspects of the activity, from serving on a festival management committee alongside key members of the resident educational and library staff to contributing ideas for programming, promoting the festival within the prison, and inviting and introducing speakers and performers. Prisoners also become involved as performers, with projects developed through workshops and rehearsals, such as dramatic or spoken word performances that become part of the festival programme.

Artists and speakers who have gone to jail for us include Billy Bragg, Levi Roots, journalists Gary Younge and Tom Gash, novelists Kit de Waal, Courttia Newland, Nathan Filer and Dreda Say Mitchell, poets Maggie Sawkins and Jonathan Edwards, spoken word artists Mr Gee, Femi Keeling and Scroobius Pip, ex-offender/authors Erwin James, Noel 'Razor' Smith, Shaun Attwood and Mark Johnson, social commentators Kathy Rentzenbrink, Charlie Mortimer, Roman Krznaric, ex-footballer Tony Adams and graphic novelist Ilya. Performances and workshops have included Geese Theatre, award-winning live literature production Zones of Avoidance and a multimedia work performed by addicts, Diving into the Wreck.

LLL ran the first three Penned Up festivals under its own auspices, at HMP Lewes, in Nov 2015, and at HMP Erlestoke, Wiltshire, in March 2017 and March 2018, before setting up Penned Up as an independent organisation.

See footage of Billy Bragg at HMP Erlestoke in Wiltshire, March 2017 »

Read an online article by one of the prisoners about Michael Darlow's Johnny Cash at San Quentin event at HMP Erlestoke in March 2018 »

Download Penned_Up_at_Erlestoke.pdf...

Read an article in the Prisoners' Education Trust Newsletter ยป

New Writing South

New Writing South is the creative writing agency for the south-east of England, dedicated to inspiring, nurturing and connecting creative writers.  

Since 2012, LLL has been collaborating with New Writing South to develop an innovative programme of live literature courses for writers focused on developing writing for performance. The courses - led by LLL's Artistic Director, Mark C. Hewitt - take a multimedia approach.

A first course in 2012, Experiments with Live Literature, led to a series of scratch performances at The Nightingale Theatre in Brighton. This was followed by two other courses in 2013 and 2015, both entitled Making Innovative Live Literature. Many writers attending these courses have gone on to develop their own funded performance works, often supported in the early stages by LLL Productions. 

Word County

Word County was a countywide project initiated by East Sussex Arts Partnership  in 2005  to celebrate the spoken and written word, with an emphasis on participation and communities.The project continued through to 2012.

LLL was one of the main producing organisations responsible for  delivering projects for the Word County programme. Projects included visual installations, such as Polska by the Sea at Eastbourne Station, and Messages from a Sussex Village in Plumpton, plus a range of performance events between 2005 and 2012.

Festival of Words

Festival of Words was a consortium founded to explore the concept and delivery of an accessible words-based festival for young people.

The consortium was founded in 2006 by three arts organisations: Farnham Maltings in Surrey, Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead and LLL in East Sussex.

The festival was hosted in consecutive years by one of the three organisations within the consortium, taking on a different local flavour each time but always aiming to combine educational work in schools with public events and involving young people beyond those that might normally engage with creativity and the arts. In 2007 the festivals was inaugurated in Farnham under the title Festival of Words, in 2008 it was held in Maidenhead under the title Word on the Street and in 2009 it came to Lewes under the title Free Speech. The project was concluded in 2010.