Seven hours at Grimm & Co

Seven Hours at Grimm & Co – A Tale of a Magical Visit

By Gabrielle Stones.

Photograph of the Emporium of Stories - a large gothic building with red doors.

After a reel of emails and scheduled Zoom calls, my day at Grimm & Co was booked.

I found out about Grimm after extensive research to find a creative placement for my Masters degree module. The term ‘Writer in Residence’ frightened me slightly, as I viewed that as a big title to fill. However, once I had found Grimm and had lengthy chats with my lecturer, I loved the term creative placement much more, and no place seemed a better fit than Grimm & Co.

Gemma at Grimm was incredible in facilitating my request (whilst I thought it was madness), Gemma was keen on the idea and adopted the same passion as I did. I had a lot of chats with staff member, Hannah. We used our creative ideas to create an idea for the day of my visit. During this day, Grimm was in partnership with Signals festival, and Hannah and I had the idea of a musical world to be created by the young people, and to incorporate either short stories, lyrics or poems to go into depth with the musical world.

When the day arrived, the interior and exterior completely took my mind off the tediously long train journey from Suffolk. The magical aura of the building and staff was amazing. I was blown away by every minor detail that was incorporated within the running of the charity. After a tour that I hoped would never end, we had a staff briefing. It was an insight into the staffing of the charity and helped to involve me into the running of the day. This started my day off to a planned start and helped me to gauge my thoughts and process on how I was going to tackle the tasks ahead.

For some context on the day, myself and Hannah’s task was a drop-in session. I was a bit apprehensive of this at first as you are never guaranteed of a set number that will arrive, and then you have to prepare for the biggest scenario at hand. However, the day was what I could have described as a conveyor-belt task. Whilst some young people arrived, others were browsing, and it was a constant flow of young people (and family!) involved.

It was an amazing experience to watch the creativity of the young people flow through their pens and onto the page. This creativity was brushed onto the family, getting parents and grandparents involved. It was all topped off by documenting this onto a ‘Grimm & Co Wall of Fame’ that we added to as the day progressed. It was a pleasure to be a part of and be the inspiration for.

Whilst my time at Grimm & Co was short, it is the backbone and content of my university course. It also helped to inspire my writing and was an unforgettable experience. If I could recommend anything, it would be to just pop into Grimm & Co and experience the glowing atmosphere.

That in itself is magical.

A over-the-shoulder photograph of a young person writing on a large sheet of paper.