As I keep saying, you really don’t have to be a writer or teacher yourself to run a writing club for young writers. All you need to be is a facilitator. An enthusiastic cheerleader willing to listen and applaud.
The time and space and attention you provide are the important things and that’s all your young writers really need, so never be put off by worrying that you don’t know enough about writing or teaching writing. You don’t need to.
As I am a keen reader and a writer myself, I often do try to offer feedback that might help a writer improve their craft if I feel that’s what they want (some don’t, others actively ask, ‘How can I improve this?’), but actually I find the feedback I give tends to be the same few rules repeated over and over again, in response to the same rookie mistakes all new writers make.
It’s really quite simple stuff and this article I found online covers pretty much all of it, so if you do want to help your writers improve their craft, you can kill all the badly written birds with one stone and just print it for your group to read! –
If anyone is keen to improve their writing just tell them to go back and look at these 8 rules again and see if they’ve broken any of them, then do some editing to improve their piece of writing.
The only other thing I regularly say that isn’t in this article is ‘Character is everything.’ If you’re stuck, it’s because you don’t know your character well enough. So go back and interview them, interrogate them, brainstorm what they’d do in a situation, and they will lead you to the ending!
I won’t post next week since it’s half term and you’ll all have much better things to do (marking, yeah?) but I’ll be back the week after!