Our Young Writers were on form last Saturday for the first workshop of the New Year. At this time, many people’s minds naturally turn to goal setting, and our students were no different. Using Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art commencement speech as our inspiration, we made Little Books of Writing Goals.

The writers spoke of wanting to explore new directions with their craft, committing to finishing longstanding projects, and bringing their work to new audiences. It will be a privilege to see how the Young Writers’ Group can help them in achieving these goals. Unlike the last time they did this exercise, the books will be kept at The Writers’ Block, so that we can look back on our goals and see what progress we are making.

After a time of looking forward, it makes sense to spend some time looking back. So the writers enjoyed a variation of the postcard exercise we have done in previous sessions, inspired by found objects. First off, they chose an object of interest, from a spool of thread to a tea strainer and most things in between. Using the colour of the object as a title, they then wrote the beginning, middle and end of a story in bullet point form.

Following this, a 100-word free writing exercise brought these miniature narratives to life. Focusing in on minute aspects can be a way to find story ideas that weren’t there at first glance.

For the final part of the workshop, we built on the work we did last month with songwriter Ryan Jones, and laid the foundations for a song co-written by the staff and students of the Young Writers’ Group.

This year is going to bring some really exciting developments to the Young Writers’ Group workshops. It will be wonderful to see how the Young Writers respond to the exercises we have planned.

The next Young Writers Group session will take place on Saturday 22nd February between 10am and 1pm at The Writers’ Block. Booking info can be found here.