Telling the story of the South Downs – Writer in Residence is announced

February 8, 2019

Sara CliffordApplause Rural Touring and the South Downs National Park Authority are delighted to announce an exciting new project to support a creative Writer in Residence.

Playwright and community arts practitioner Sara Clifford will work closely with communities across the National Park this Spring, gathering material on what it means to local residents to live in the South Downs, and exploring the rich cultural heritage of the region.

She will shape her research into performances which will be staged in host pubs located in towns and villages as part of Applause Rural Touring’s Inn Crowd Scheme in Autumn 2019.

For many rural communities, local pubs are the central hub. Inn Crowd supports pubs across Sussex to host exciting and inspiring spoken word, poetry and storytelling performances, helping to reinforce pubs as central to vibrant rural community life.

Sara Clifford will lead this exciting residency by working with communities in seven host pubs across the South Downs National Park.

Through a series of open workshops, work with schools and community groups, Sara and her team will creatively engage with locals, gathering their feelings and responses to this special landscape, and their thoughts on any local and national issues which may affect them.

She will explore how living in the South Downs impacts on residents in all aspects of life and encourage locals to reflect on their own relationship with the land. The final performance pieces in the host pubs will be accessible to all and will also be published online to reach a wider audience.

Sara says: “As a Lewes based writer, I am very pleased to be working on this exciting project, which will seek to capture people’s stories, memories and responses to our wonderful National Park. I will be spending time talking to a variety of people from different parts of the park, from the rural farmlands to the coastal areas to the busy towns.”

Anyone interested in getting involved in the project in any way should contact Sara at