A new term, a new opportunity to write! There IS a budding novelist in your school. There’s also a poet, a playwright, a journalist, a diarist. There is someone using writing to process their feelings and understand the world. There is someone hiding their writing because they’re shy and they don’t know anyone else who writes. Do they have a writing club to go to?

If not, why not help them start one up? It’s easier than you’d think and there’s lots of advice here.

And a beautiful article here about teaching creative writing:

“When the writers start sharing their work out loud, those stereotypes shatter. Then students become people with their own stories, who so badly want to be heard and understood. I’m always surprised at people’s complexity. And willingness to be vulnerable, in hopes of being heard. I’m grateful for the opportunity to cross the threshold of the classroom — a field of possibility — to encounter it.”

(To be clear, the article is about writing workshops, where actual teaching happens. I REALLY don’t think you need to be a writer to lead a writing group, and I don’t think you need to teach young writers in your group, you just have to be there to create that space in which they can write, listen to their words and tell them what you loved about them. But the article is really insightful about how much that can mean for a young person and has lots of tips and tricks for working with them.)

“Teaching writing requires showing unabashed love, giving ready praise, sharing your appreciation of precision and specificity. Be unafraid to tell young people what you think is wonderful about their ideas and work, and what could be stronger. Just be gentle and do it with respect for whatever limits they’re working within.”

And if you already have a group, check these out:

BBC radio’s Two Minute Tales writing competition is back. The theme is What Happened This Winter and there are three age categories from 5-16, and this year there’s also an Irish Language category for ages 5-11! Send in your 300 word short stories by 7th November and they could be read on the radio in the week before Christmas, and maybe even turned into an animation for the website!

Following on from the success of their first Zine on the theme of Belfast, Fighting Words NI are publishing a new one. This time the theme is Happiness and entries should be in by 20th November. It’s open to anyone aged 8-18 and you can submit any form of writing.

They also have a page of free resources including video workshops and podcasts on writing.

And their teen writing group Write Club is open to all teen writers, with meetings happening in person in East Belfast, or on zoom.

Speaking of which, we’ve had lots of publications from Write Club members recently, including this one by 15 year old Kaila in the Afterpast Review, a feminist literary magazine dedicated to uplifting underrepresented voices (and open to submissions so check it out). Kaila’s story is beautiful, have a read with your coffee break!