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The Lockdown Diaries University of East Anglia FLY Festival

We are very excited to announce The Lockdown Diaries, a brand new creative writing project for students aged 10-16 in Norfolk and Suffolk.

The Lockdown Diaries gives local students a creative outlet to reflect and respond to the COVID-19 lockdown. Over the coming weeks we will be running a series of activities for students and their families to take part in. 

At the end of the project, a selection of entries from each activity will be chosen to feature in The Lockdown Diaries story collection, to celebrate the creativity and resilience of the region's young people during these extraordinary times.

The Lockdown Diaries will be illustrated, printed and distributed to UEA Outreach partner schools across Norfolk and Suffolk in the autumn term. See here for a full list of partner schools, students who do not attend a partner school can request a copy of the story collection should their writing feature.

Here's a list of the activities you can take part in for a chance to win prizes and have your work published in The Lockdown Diaries:

1. The 8 Week Challenge (this activity is now closed, but you can still find the challenges here)

2. FLY and The Great Escape


Meet some of the fantastic writers, performers and illustrators who we have been working with on The Lockdown Diaries project!


James McDermott is a playwright and poet. His plays published by Samuel French include ‘Rubber Ring’ (UK Tour) and ‘Time and Tide’ (Park Theatre London). James is currently writing new plays for...


CT Furlong is the author of The ARCTIC6 Adventures – following a group of teenagers, getting into and working their way out of, mysteries. I have always loved the picnic scenes in Enid Blyton’s...

Frances Hardinge

Frances Hardinge has written nine dark, bizarre novels for children and young adults, including The Lie Tree , which won the Costa Book of the Year for 2015. Her latest book is Deeplight . She...

Jean McNeil

Jean McNeil is the author of 14 books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and essays, including most recently Ice Diaries: an Antarctic Memoir (US/Canada, 2016, UK 2018), which won the Banff...

Mitch Johnson

Mitch Johnson is the author of Kick  and the forthcoming title Pop! Kick  is endorsed by Amnesty International UK, which has been translated into multiple languages, and...

Henry Sutton

Henry Sutton is a Professor of Creative Writing and Crime Fiction, and the Director of Creative Writing at UEA. He is the author of 12 novels and a collection of short stories. His last three...

Sophie Scott-Brown

Sophie is a lecturer in political thought at UEA and the director of FLY. She writes about the lives of radical thinkers because she is fascinated by how they come up with such different ideas....

Alexander Gordon Smith

Award-winning author of fifteen novels for children, teenagers, and adults, including the worldwide best-seller LOCKDOWN, which is soon to become a movie. He lives in Norwich, and is a Patron of...