Biscuits & Words Young Writers’ Group
Biscuits & Words was a writers’ group for 14 to 18-year-olds which ran from 2014 to 2016. It was funded by Writing East Midlands with support from Loughborough University and Charnwood Arts.
Sessions were led by our own writer – Alison Mott – supported by poet and cookery blogger Lottie Huckle. Liz Waddell joined the team when Lottie moved to London and a job in publishing.
Biscuits & Words met fortnightly in LU Arts’ cool, arty meeting area in the Edward Barnsley Building on Epinal Way. We later moved to a more central location in town, using community rooms belonging to Charnwood Arts in Granby Street.
In our sessions we used short, quirky prompts to kick off quick bursts of writing, and the younger writers were invited to suggest prompts as the group grew in confidence. Everyone wrote in the sessions – young and older writers alike – and read what they’d written to the rest of the group. Most found it scary at first, but confidence building is part of the purpose of a writing group and we soon got over it as our creative muscles got used to the exercise!
The Young Writers wrote whatever they wanted – poetry, plays, song lyrics, stories – and often brought in pieces they’d continued to work on at home. It was fantastic to see each young writer grow in confidence – in their willingness to take creative risks, in their writing and critical skills, the sharpening of their ability to communicate and the strengthening sense of validity in themselves and their stories.
And best of all there wasn’t a red pen or marking scheme in sight. But there was laughter and creativity and biscuits – lots of biscuits. Hence the name – Biscuits and Words – chosen to replace ‘Charnwood Young Writers’ by the young people attending the group.
None of the writers knew each other before the group began, but sharing their stories made friendships grow. We even became official bloggers for the first ever Loogabarooga Children’s Illustrated Festival in October 2015.
Biscuits & Words was a lot of fun for everyone involved and we’d love to start up another young writer’s group in the area soon.
Email Alison at email@example.com if you’d like us to set up a writing group for the young people you work with.