Apprentice guest post : Vanessa Ryan-Smith on Annika Spalding’s book launch

Vanessa is the Programming Support Apprentice at The Drum arts centre in Birmingham. Along with her busy daytime role, she’s a keen writer, keeping a blog covering theatre and literature events, gigs and reflections of her own. Below is a piece she wrote following the launch event for Annika Spalding’s book Reflections earlier this year. 

On Friday 17th October I was invited to attend the launch of Annika Spalding’s new book ‘Reflections’.  The event was out of the norm as we had inspirational guests speakers speaking positively and sharing their life experiences. There was also a mixture of cake, natural products and beauty stalls and well as live performances.

Annika Spalding is a 3rd time-published writer, a strong woman and a mother of two beautiful girls and believes in ‘World Domination’. Her I AM campaign aims to empower others by using the maxim #IAM Strength. ‘Reflections’ captures the impact of life challenges through a series of short stories, exploring issues such as domestic violence, sexuality, parenthood and bereavement.

One of the messages that I took from that evening was “In order to get clarity we have to find a way of emptying ourselves and just STOP what we are doing.” In this life we give ourselves too many labels or sometimes get given labels and not really taking care of our inner selves.

Read Vanessa’s full post on Follow Vanessa on Twitter @funkynessa

If you’re a Creative Employment Programme intern, apprentice or trainee and you’d like to write for the blog at, contact Becky: 



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