Young Writers’ Summer Schools

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What a fantastic summer we’ve had as Young Writers in the North-East: workshops, roadtrips, songwriting and animation galore as we flocked to our Young Writers’ hubs and got busy creating!

At our Songwriting Summer Schools in Space Six and Sunderland Empire, our young musicians worked with professional songwriters such as Liz Corney, Kema Kay, Jennie Brewis and JoJohnston, exploring rap, rhythm, lyrics and sound recording. The original songs which came out of these three days are absolute class and are already streaming on Soundcloud.

Next came our ‘Draw My Life’ Summer School at Newcastle City Library, where Northern artist Sheryl Jenkins had us trying out different styles of visual storytelling. Our young writers created their own animations inspired by political hot issues and their own imaginations, and the results are stunning: thought-provoking, funny and a feast for the eyes. Check them out here!

Our Young Writers in Amble jetted off for a road trip to Lindisfarne on the first day, recording clips for a visual scrapbook.

They then worked with filmmaker Alan Fentiman and writer Heather Askwith to blend film, sound and writing to create richly textured videos inspired by their experiences. Each one is unique, and can be seen on our YouTube channel.

Cramlington saw a crowd of young poets crammed into Concordia Leisure Centre, getting masterclasses from some fantastic performers and writers – Zoe Murtagh, Anna Woodford, Sky Hawkins and Lauren Vevers, to name a few! They tried out a huge variety of different forms of poetry, courageously creating their own rap in a session with Kay Greyson and then recording their own performances in response to the issues which matter most to them.

Our final Summer School took place at the Word in South Shields, a Pick ‘n’ Mix experience based on the theme of identity, which really stretched our Young Writers to experiment with different genres.

We tried deliciously dark crime writing with Matt Wesolowski, drafted our own scripts with Anna Ryder, turned fairytales on their heads with Carmen Marcus and flexed our musical fingers with Kate Doherty, and if that wasn’t dizzying enough, collaborated on an animation! You can find the plays and songs our young writers produced on our Youtube channel.

All in all, a crazy, glorious and colourful summer bursting with activity. Once again, we were blown away by the imagination and creativity of our Young Writers – we can’t wait to see what the next term will bring!