Here’s one of the great things about doing events with young people – as part of my presentation I talk to them about inspiration and by the end of my session I leave inspired by them.
A couple of weeks ago I was at Gourock library talking to 4th year pupils from Clydeview Academy and I got them to do a little creative writing exercise at the end. They could choose to use some of the images and newspaper headlines I’d taken along to help generate ideas, or simply come up with stories from their imagination. Mostly they just used their own imagination!
It was brilliant seeing their enthusiasm and how quick they were at constructing stories. As I walked round the room some of them told me about poetry they were writing, inspired by personal experience, and books they were working on. It reminded me of the buzz I used to get when I first started to construct novel length work (and in my teens I also wrote a lot more poetry!).
I loved doing an event in a library, surrounded by books, as it was my love of reading which inspired me to write in the first place. My parents always took me to the local library to pick out books and it’s one of my favourite memories.
It was great talking to the librarians before and after the event who were also very enthusiastic and shared interesting writing chat.
Here’s a montage of photos: (*I asked permission from the pupils and their teacher to post their pictures on social media!)
A couple of days later I took part in another great event in a local cafe, Ta Ta Bella’s Tea Room, in Paisley, where I got to meet with the Oak Tree Arts creative writing groups, and their tutor, Susan at their End of Term gathering.
The group was a mix of ages and after talking to them about my writing process they asked me LOTS of interesting questions. As we sat eating the brilliant brownies, (which Hilary had baked), I got to quiz them a bit about their own writing. I was blown away by how much they all write. One twelve year old boy was already 20,000 words into his novel and he had only been writing it for about a month, saying he wrote a bit every day, after school. It’s amazing to see such commitment to writing at such a young age and it gave me a boost to get cracking with my own writing! Here’s a photo from this event:
I have no doubts that I will soon be reading books penned by some of these young authors!
After such great events I’m really looking forward to taking part in the Yay! YA festival later in the month. Here is an updated poster showing the running order of the day:
I’m pleased to see that I get to hang out in the dressing room when I talk to the pupils as I think if there are lights on the mirrors that will make quite a dramatic backdrop for reading!