Studying something that you have a passion for can often trigger a change in your perspective or outlook. It can also help you tap into a talent which may have lain dormant for years. The most well-known WEA success story is that of the Pitman Painters, the miners-cum- artists whose depictions of ordinary working class life shook the British art world in the 1940s and are still revered until this day.

Today, we still nurture emerging talent and help people realise their ambitions.

Alison Taft, who has taught creative writing with the WEA for a number of years, has helped many budding writers fulfil their dream of becoming published authors. Here’s what one happy student had to say about Alison’s class:

“The crucial difference between Alison and other writing tutors is that Alison believes in your ability to make your dream a reality and acts accordingly. Rather than dealing in academic abstractions, Alison gives you the information you need to make your writing ambitions real. I now see myself as a serious writer, who is not lacking in any way, and who will be sending work to agents and publishers by the end of next year.

“Funny, inspiring, enabling and empowering; Alison is a great teacher, who has brought a community of writers together, in the spirit of mutual support, cooperation and equality, through her work in Leeds and as a driving force behind the inspired, inclusive and affordable Tutored Writing Retreats at Northern College”. - H. Ryder