SPINE Festival – Hounslow Artist in Residence Rachel Sambrooks

SPINE Artist in Residence for Hounslow, Rachel Sambrooks, tells us all about her work as a writer and performer, and gives us the inside scoop from Hounslow Central Library…

Adventuring with Words at Hounslow Library

I’ve been a writer and performer for many years doing lots of different projects. I love making up poems and stories, telling old stories and making people laugh. Young people are my favourite audience! I’m really excited to be working within Hounslow Central Library and I’ve already met some brilliant writers and performers.

At the weekend, we held a Word Quest around Hounslow Central Library, which was a great success with nearly a hundred people joining in! I wanted to make it fun for everyone to write poems and stories, have a go at telling them to us and being creative. So many young people amazed me with their vocabulary and imaginations!SPINE Festival 2 001

Everyone had a great time and it was really wonderful to see so many children and young people finishing their quests. Some even asked for more, and one of the superstars of the weekend was Esther who helped out on the tables, helped give out stamps, and wrote extra character studies for us — well done Esther!

Story Club saw some of our Word Adventurers returning and sharing some brilliant stories that they made up straight away! We had ages 4 to 11 and our youngest member was super confident and told us all about a story where a boy went to other worlds, the world of yellow and a world of trees. There were some beautifully written tales of intrigue and adventure, and wonderfully improvised stories as well.

Listen below to hear one of our brilliant Word Adventurers reading their story:


I’m looking forward to Poetry Club, where I’m going to share some of my children’s poetry and hope to hear some brilliant rhymes. Then at the end of the week I’m excited to find out what ideas young adults have for Transformation in the all day spoken word workshops on Friday 20 February.

SPINE Festival 2 009During the SPINE Festival itself, I will be running a Drama Club after school on the 12th March and Celebration events on the 8th and 15th March. On the 8th we will be practicing and performing with the under 8s in the Little Top and holding more workshops on writing and performing, and on 15th for the over 8s and young adults with a performance in the Paul Robeson Theatre.

And I mustn’t forget to mention – we have a post box in the library for any child or young person to post their poem or story with details and a parent’s permission to join in the Celebration. I’m going to be performing poems and stories, and I will be using some of the rhymes and story starters that the Word Adventurers invented to make collaborative pieces for the show! For details of all Rachel’s SPINE Festival events, visit her events page.

Keep up with Rachel throughout SPINE Festival by following @labellaraquella #SpineFestival.
For more information about Rachel’s work visit www.rachelsambrooks.com

SPINE Festival is produced by Apples and Snakes in partnership with library authorities across London as part of Apples and Snakes’ work as an Associate Bridge organisation. For more information visit the SPINE project page or follow #SpineFestival.