White Water Writers

“White Water Writers" is a psychology based intervention which gives groups of aspiring authors the opportunity to collaboratively write and publish their own full length novel in a week.  

The participants plan, write, proofread and develop their novel as a team. By the end of the week the book is placed for sale on Amazon and a few weeks later we host a book signing event where authors are presented with professionally printed copies of their novels at a book signing event attended by friends and family.  The project has demonstrable positive effects on literacy, soft skills such as team work and on psychological variables such as self-efficacy and locus of control.  It can also lead to higher aspiration.

The project has helped more than 3000 people become authors, this has included primary, secondary and university students, care experienced young people and young people with SEND.  The project has also run in Japan, the Netherlands and Ghana.  We have recently been working with young and adult offenders. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 we have also developed a short story version of the project which has run in several prisons in the UK to provide purposeful activity and a way of enhancing family relationships during lockdown. 

PI and Co-Is - International Collaborators

Dr Yvonne Skipper, University of Glasgow, School of Education

Dr Joe Reddington, eQuality Time

Prof Patrick Leman, University of Waikato


Start and End date

2014 - Ongoing


Funder and Funding amount

2020   University of Glasgow Chancellor’s Fund, £1,700

2020   ESRC IAA Covid 19:  Creative Writing in Prisons, £1,400

2017   Higher Horizons and NCOP, £66,547    

2015   SHINE £49,000       

2015   Earnest Cook  £6,600        

2014   Higher Education Innovation Fund £32,000


Related Publications

Skipper, Y. & Reddington, J. (In preparation). How Creative Writing can Enhance Literacy and Family Connections between People in Prison and their Families.

Skipper, Y., Reddington, J. & Leman, P. J. (In preparation). The outcomes of participating in the White Water Writers project.

Skipper, Y. & Seymour, R. (In preparation).  A thematic analysis of young people’s writing to explore their views of society.

DeCarvalho, E. & Skipper, Y. (accepted).  : Interpreting young people’s self-expression through characters and relationships in collaborative creative writing. Support for Learning.


Associated Websites

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=t+m+cooks&ref=nb_sb_noss (Novels created through the project)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9eOvOf01EQ  (Video summary of the project)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHFfmKZedU0 (Interview with some of our authors)


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