Deirdre volunteers with Fighting Words as a Creative Writing Mentor

Before Covid, workshops were held on-site in locations with tutors. Mornings were spent with Primary school classes and afternoons with Secondary school classes. The session was divided into group time and individual writing time. I would assist in putting out chairs, name badges, counting votes, and handing out writing paper/pencils for example. Tutors took turns typing up the suggested story, a Facilitator lead workshop, an Editor gave feedback and an Illustrator provided drawings to match the story. We all went around the students during the individual time to advise or help the students or provide constructive feedback, and a storybook was published and distributed to them.

During Coivd restrictions we are running Zoom Workshops and provide online feedback as students read their stories out to us or show their drawings to the camera. It can be very educational and great fun but hard work and often noisy and entertaining! I thought it was wonderful seeing all the enthusiasm and their creativity in action. I found the classes hard work but very rewarding, especially as you are seeing young people express themselves in imaginative ways. I would encourage anyone interested in writing or drawing or working with schoolchildren to volunteer for this role.