WordPlay Community Arts uses creative writing, reading and storytelling to support attachment between individuals and their families, communities, memories and sense of place. We believe in the power of the written and spoken word to make emotional connections that bind people together.

We deliver workshops, projects and events in partnership with communities and are passionate about supporting emerging writers from marginalised backgrounds. We seek to engage through the literary arts in the broadest sense including digital storytelling, book art and performance.

WordPlay is interested in the potential for our creative activity to lead to improved health and well-being, progression into formal learning environments/employment, and meaningful community cohesion.

WordPlay currently delivers three core strands of activity:

  • Citizen Poet
  • Tale Traveller
  • Creative Collaborations

We work with communities across Greater Manchester but are particularly focused on Salford, having run a successful community creative writing programme in Broughton for six years.

Who we are

Harriet Morgan-Shami, Creative Director

Harriet has worked in engagement and participation for over 14 years in a variety of contexts including community arts organisations, cultural venues, charities, city councils, education and academia. She is an experienced creative producer particularly interested in developing projects that use literature as a starting point to engage people in high quality arts experiences. She established and managed the award-winning Writing Lives community creative writing programme in East Salford, which ran for six years with the support of the University of Salford.

Michelle Green, Creative Director

Michelle is a multi-disciplinary artist specialising in poetry, short fiction, performance, and participatory arts. With a background and training in theatre, she’s worked across the UK with a variety of groups in education, arts, community, and prison settings. She has particular experience working with adults with refugee backgrounds, LGBT groups, and survivors of mental distress. She designed and delivered the Writing Lives community creative writing programme in East Salford in collaboration with other writers and artists, and has a special interest in creative maps and sculptural literature.

Joy Winkler, Associate Writer

Joy Winkler was born in Barnsley but now lives in Macclesfield, Cheshire. She is a poet, freelance creative writing facilitator and performer. From 2001 she worked as Writer in Residence at HMP Styal for seven years during which time she facilitated writers’ and readers’ groups for the female prisoners and involved them in many other arts-related activities. In 2005 Joy was appointed Cheshire Poet Laureate.  The appointment meant that she was commissioned to write many poems to celebrate events in the county’s year.  These poems and others written during that laureate year were published in collection called ‘On the Edge’. Participants in her workshops have included members of the public, prison inmates, ex-offenders and people on probation, writer’s groups, school children, young mums, people taking part in community based projects, elderly and students with emergent literacy skills.