Callum Conroy, undertaking Gold

Callum Conroy is a poet and writer and is doing his Gold Arts Award alongside his A-Levels.

Callum Conroy, undertaking Gold

What level(s) of Arts Award you've done

Only Gold, my Sixth Form's IB course features it.

What art form(s) you took part in

My current art from was Narrative Writing and my new one that I would be applying to said current art from was Poetry.

What events you went to – include links to any online reviews on Arts Award Voice or elsewhere

I've only just completed Part A so I haven't been to any events yet, but for Part B I will be attending a creative writing seminar my school is running and possibly a local writing group.

Anything about your arts hero, or artists you worked with, or cultural organisations you visited

The practitioner I worked with was a classmate who is also participating in the Gold Arts Award, Jasmine Murphey. She is well versed in poetry and taught me much during our hyper intensive study sessions.

How you shared your arts skills or led your own projects

I've shared my work on my Wordpress blog and on arts award voice.

What kind of portfolio you created – provide a link or photo if possible

I created a Wordpress based blog named "Ahnenerbe Café"

For your reading pleasure:

What was most valuable to you personally?

The new angle on poetry. I've always appreciated poetry from a comfortable distance, but I feel like, now that I've spent time with a practitioner, I have a more insider perspective.

What did you find inspiring?

Maybe it's just I'm being unfair or maybe it's just my school's student body, but no one (including myself, to an extent) seemed to be passionate about poetry, so meeting Jasmine, who was, was very invigorating to me.

What was challenging?

The creative work. I haven't produced any writing of my own in an embarrassing amount of time, so getting back in that particular groove was a wall or sorts. I'm glad to be passed it though.

What are you going to do next – and has Arts Award helped you?

No earthly idea.

How you got involved with Arts Award

My school's Sixth Form's IB course runs it, alongside Sport Leadership and Young Enterprise. Neither of the alternative choices interested me, "sporty" and/or "enterprising" are not words that describe me.

Who gave you the most help and inspiration?

My girlfriend, who is a criminally underrated artist, has incredible talent and an equally impressive work ethic. She constantly churns out quality pieces, while I have the insipid, lethargic pace of a snail and she put me to shame on a daily basis. And all of this to no audience! She shares none of her work, it's honestly tragic. She is my source of inspiration.

For a teenager to approach poetry and creative writing of your style is unconventional. What prompted you to begin writing?

For the particular piece I featured in my portfolio, "Scapegoat", it's largely based on the origin of a character from a work I read years ago that stuck in my mind. I felt that the origin story was incredibly interesting conceptually, but no detail was given and because of this it lacked impact and made how the character appears in the meat of the story feel nonsensical and disassociated from the character's origins at points. I regarded this regrettably and wanted to give my own loose interpretation of this characters origin, for my own sake more than anything.

Share with us any writing you're doing at the moment, if you're happy to

As I mentioned above "I have the insipid, lethargic pace of a snail", so I have nothing to give that you haven't seen, unfortunately.


Bhavesh Jadva

Bhavesh Jadva Voice Team

Former Media Editor on Voice and former Arts Award Editor on AAoV covering film, TV, music and comedy.

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