Seb Pedder, Silver Arts Award

Seb Pedder shares his experience of writing a novella on the slave trader for his Silver Arts Award. 

Seb Pedder, Silver Arts Award

14-year-old Seb got involved with Arts Award through Hampton School and decided to focus his art form on literature and writing his first novella. 

Tell us about any cultural organisations you visited or events you attended as part of your Arts Award

I went to a Wasafiri Writer's Workshop: Maggie Gee at The British Library, where I learnt about how to write interesting stories that people want to listen to, and Fighting Words - Secondary School Creative Writing Workshop at the London Irish Centre, where I learnt about different ways to plan stories and more specific creative writing techniques.

Who wants your arts hero?

I interviewed Matt Killeen, a professional author, to get some insight into the world of professional writing, to find out about the triumphs and struggles and evaluate whether it was a career path that I would take. 

My inspiration for the novella was seemingly under-told narrative of female slaves in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the horrors of slavery during the 17-1800s that can never be stressed enough.

How did you share your arts skill?

I posted tutorial videos on YouTube and my school put them on its intranet. I also sent the links to my channel to my extended family and friends, and they also shared it as well. I made surveys to accompany each separate video and asked people various questions to evaluate the effectiveness of the video.

What kind of portfolio did you create?

648424fcaceedfcf1a5d9eb84df6ebc043565678.jpegA physical folder and some tutorial videos.

What was most valuable to you personally?

The skills learnt to undertake a very large project like writing a novella and the ability to develop my piece of work over a long period of time. This is a skill that I would not have developed had I not done the Arts Award, and will be a valuable thing to know how to do in the future.

What did you find inspiring?

How even though completing to Arts Award this year took special adaptation from everyone, I and others still managed to teach people skills by using videos even when we could not teach them in person and still managed to complete our projects when it was especially difficult to do so.

What was challenging?

Keeping to the timescale of my project, because sometimes I wrote too much and was too slow and sometimes I wrote too little and was too fast. It was also sometimes challenging to keep on top of the paperwork required for every part of the portfolio whilst also writing my novella and making tutorial videos.

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

I will continue my way through school before going to university. 

Arts Award has taught me the skills of being adaptive and overcoming any problems I might encounter in the future. It has also allowed be to gain confidence because I was able to write a novella and teach people the skills I learnt doing that.

Some examples from Seb Pedders Silver Arts Award Portfolio


If you have completed an Arts Award and would like to be profiled too, join our Arts Award Alumni and let us know about your experience.


Nici West

Nici West Voice Team

Nici is the an editor for Voice. She loves all things books, theatre, music, art, visiting other countries, anything creative, and sometimes attempts to make YouTube videos. Alongside Voice she writes and edits through her own pursuits.You can occasionally find her running marathons dressed as a black dog.

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