This term at South Shields we started off using our favorite books to inspire some writing around World Book Night 2019. The young people worked with writer Laura Lindow to craft their own ‘story-boxes’ and create a display in The Word. We’ve also just worked with mental health nurse and founder of Create Healthy Minds Hannah Morpeth, who is helping the group to write about and explore the theme of body image as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. Check-out this video about the project made by #FirstWordLastWord – a young people’s journalism project who are covering Write Festival at The Word. 

Over at Newcastle Young Writers, participants are about to start a term of work creating our their own zines supported by group leader Zoe Murtagh with guest masterclasses from performance artist Jamie Tansley, follow us on social-media for updates about the programme.

Young writers from Newcastle Young Songwriters swapped their usual session at the Nunsmoor Centre for a trip to Live Theatre to Kema Kay’s debut show Shine. Kema usually supports the young people with their own rap and songwriting, so it was super inspiring seeing him up on the stage performing and sharing his own story.

In Cramlington we have been continuing our theme of romance with a twist. We took part in a brilliant Reading Hack project with Stripes Books where we had the chance to review their new LGBTQ+ anthology, Proud. We made our own colourful creative responses to Proud which we displayed in Cramlington Library in all their glittering glory. Wow! Read young writer Amy’s blog about it here.

At the end of May we will be saying goodbye to Group Leader Danielle Burn, who is going on maternity leave. Danielle has been a wonderful part of the Cramlington group and we wish her all the best of luck with her new little one! The new Group Leader in Cramlington will be the amazing Rachel Collinge, who we are all looking forward to welcoming to the Young Writers’ family in June.

Up in Amble, the young writers’ group welcomed a new Group Leader, Sarah Tarbit, and together we have been working hard on a fantastic anthology themed around Journeys. We had a fascinating masterclass with illustrator Laurie Stevens and made our own spooky prints to go alongside our writing.

We will be officially launching our anthology Journeys at Amble Library on Saturday 18 May, 10:30am. Come and join us to hear selected readings and pick up a copy!