Children who aspire to be writers wil have a chance to put their pens to paper this summer as Fighting Words comes to Longford.
Fighting Words is a creative writing workshop programme for children and young people set up ten years ago by Roddy Doyle and Seán Love.
Located in Dublin but running outreach projects at eight locations across Ireland, now it’s coming to county Longford at the invitation of the Aisling Children’s Arts Festival and supported by Creative Ireland Longford.
Loretto McGarry, Chairperson of the Aisling Children’s Arts Festival said, “We are delighted to bring Fighting Words to County Longford.
“In the past, Longford children have had to travel to Dublin to take part in these creative writing workshops but now it will be possible for children to participate in their local area.
“This can only happen if we get volunteers who are willing to support this programme so I am asking the people of Longford to get behind this and make it happen.
“You won’t have to give up too much of your time and it is extremely rewarding for the children and for the adult volunteers.
“Come along to the information evening on June 20 in Longford Library and hear all about Fighting Words Longford and how you can be a part of it.”
The aim of Fighting Words is to help children and young people to discover and harness the power of their own imaginations and creative writing skills.
At its core, Fighting Words is also about something much broader and more inclusive. It is about using the creative practice of writing and storytelling to strengthen our children and teenagers – from a wide range of backgrounds – to be resilient, creative and successful shapers of their own lives.
Volunteers are at the core of Fighting Words and an information evening for volunteers will be held at Longford Library on Thursday June 20 at 7pm.
Recruitment of volunteers will start with the information evening followed by training and it is planned to hold the first creative writing workshops by late September or early October in the lead up to the 2019 Aisling Children's Arts Festival which takes place from October 20 to 26 this year.
All tutoring at Fighting Words is free and delivered by teams of volunteer writing tutors. These are people from all walks of life - including third level students (from all disciplines), retired people, writers (both professional and aspiring), teachers, journalists, visual artists, musicians and filmmakers - just to name a few.
You don't need to be a writer or a teacher to be a Fighting Words volunteer writing tutor but you must be over 18 years old and all volunteers will be Garda vetted.
Some of our tutors are also story illustrators and provide the pictures to accompany the students' stories while more experienced volunteers may become workshop leaders.
Volunteering with Fighting Words is totally flexible because your time is a valuable resource. There is no minimum time commitment.
Most workshops are divided into two parts: group work and individual writing time.
During the first half, you might be asked to hang up coats or provide name badges to the students. In the second half, you will work with 2-3 students as they work on their writing, providing help, advice and encouragement.
There is never any emphasis on spelling or grammar. Please note that training is provided and that Fighting Words operates a comprehensive child protection policy. All prospective volunteers are subject to reference checks and Garda vetting.
If you're interested in volunteering please come along to the information evening in Longford Library on Thursday 20th June at 7pm or email longford@fightingwords ie.