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Proud Words

Proud Words is our LGBT+ reading and creative writing project for young people.

What is it?

The idea for Proud Words came from Young Writers we had worked with through out Young Writers’ Groups. They told us that not enough was done in schools about LGBTQ+ issues and that they knew writing about gender and identity could have a huge impact for people who identified as LGBTQ+. The project then began in October 2016, when two Newcastle schools – Benfield and Heaton Manor – worked with us to set up LGBTQ+ reading and creative writing groups.

What young people did

From visiting Durham Book Festival where they met award winner authors Juno Dawson and Lisa Williamson, to performing to a sold out audience at the opening event of Curious Festival 2017, young people got to experience lots of new activities and ideas. They met once a week in school with professional writers Lisa Williamson, Laura Lindow and Adam Lowe, to read YA, plays and poetry with LGBTQ+ themes and write their own work in response to it.

Proud Words in your school

Our Proud Words Young Writers worked with New Writing North and writer Laura Lindow to create a resource pack so that anyone can facilitate a Proud Words project in their school. The pack includes creative writing activities, reading suggestions and other practical ideas about how to set up a Proud Words group. If you wish there was a Proud Words group in your school, let us know and we can send a pack to one of your teachers.

What our participants said

“As a member of the LGBTQ+ community this impacted me strongly due to the fact is gave me a place where I could be open regarding my sexuality and gender identity, as well as meeting people who are also LGBTQ+ and getting to know them and their stories.”

“I felt the strong urge to write again and I felt empowered, as part of the LGBT+ community. These books really made me feel confident.”

“It really opened my eyes to a whole new perspective of the LGBTQ+ community. The books I read I probably would never have picked up on my own but I honestly loved them all.” 

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