Our most recent Young Writers workshop was prompted by a participant who asked whether we could explore structured poetry. This topic is so broad that the possibilities were almost endless. We eventually decided to focus on two more familiar forms, with the potential to explore others in a later workshop.

After a discussion about books we were reading and those we would recommend, we turned our attention to some autumnal inspired writing.

We first asked the participants to make a list of things they enjoyed about Autumn. They then had to choose one item from their list and write freely about it for five minutes, before using their writing exercise to inspire a haiku or several.

The main part of the workshop focused on sonnets, with examples ranging from Shakespeare classics to contemporary work by Patrick Gillespie.

With sonnet form the challenge lies not only in writing fourteen lines, but in ensuring that each line has ten syllables and adheres to the rhyme scheme.

We invited the writers to focus on the theme of Autumn when producing their poems, exploring not just the natural world but the symbolism and meaning that the season holds for them.

Several participants said that they enjoyed the workshop or that it helped them with creative work. Another participant noted that they didn’t usually write poetry in such a regimented way but found that doing so had helped to deepen their practice.

Our current focus is on supporting the young people to generate new work, in the hope that we can help build their confidence to share within the group.

The next Young Writers workshop will explore mystery writing and crime fiction, again by request.

Our next Young Writers workshop will take place on Zoom on Saturday 25th November between 10:00am and 12:00pm. Booking information can be found here