Our May Young Writers’ Zoom workshop saw the return of a few familiar faces, and a number of newcomers. Inspired by the approach that the government is taking to lifting lockdown restrictions, we decided to play with the concept of maps and journeys.

Whether imagined or practically possible, journeys provide fertile ground for so much creative exploration. As ever, our writers rose to the challenge we set.

Our first activity involved the writers listing the different types of maps they could think of, whether a map for a physical journey, or a recipe.

We then invited our writers to make lists of their goals, however significant. After this, we asked them to consider how the words ‘goals’ and ‘targets’ make them feel. The two terms can provoke some very strong feelings, whatever your age.

Broadly speaking, the students responded positively. They all seem to have a sense of where they want to be – writing, mostly – and it is a privilege to support them in attaining that goal!

One of the main writing exercises we asked of the students was to envisage a journey they were going to take, and write a series of haiku poems inspired by the goals they had set.

Finally, we invited the students to reconnect with their favourite places, by imagining their favourite view and describing what we would see if we were to visit with them. Switching focus, they then had to think about their least favourite place, and write a poem about a journey between these two locations.

Many of the writers said they found it easier to imagine a journey from the place they disliked to the place they liked, but some chose to subvert this idea.

We look forward to our next Young Writers workshop, which will take place on Zoom on the 26th of June from 10:00am-12:00pm