Connswater Launch Event!

Last week we officially launched our new writing hub in East Belfast where we will continue to provide creative writing opportunities for thousands of children and young people across Northern Ireland, each year. 

Our move to Connswater Shopping Centre, means we can run story making workshops, after-school writing clubs and year-round writing camps for young writers, by accommodating groups in our dedicated new workshop space. 


Speaking at the launch, Hilary Copeland, Director at Fighting Words NI, explained:  

“Our new location in the heart of the East Belfast community, brings creative writing straight to children, young people and their adults in a way that’s really accessible.  With one area dedicated to workshops and after-school write clubs, we have also set up a drop-in space for visitors to Connswater to take time out at our Pencil Portal, read a book, add to the ‘longest story ever told’ or leave a message on our happiness wall.   

“Huge thanks to our funders for their support in fitting out the space:  Clothworkers’ Foundation, The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland through The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal and Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities through the Health and Safety Capital Programme, as well as the many friends, volunteers and businesses who donated time, money and goods to get the education hub ready to welcome writers. 

“The Connswater community has embraced us with open arms and we’ve been thrilled to be part of their family events in the run up to Christmas which hundreds of children and their families have already attended.” 


Dawn Weir, Grants Manager at The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, said: 

“As the RTÉ Toy Show Appeals Charity Partner, the Community Foundation NI were delighted to award funding and support the fantastic work of Fighting Words NI to help create a new creative writing hub in East Belfast. This will inspire the next generation, our children and young people, many who are facing disadvantage, to put pen to paper and let their imagination fly away on a carpet of ideas with Fighting Words NI's after schools creative writing activities and tutoring.” 


Dr Damian Smyth, Joint Head of Literature, Drama and Dance, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said; 

“The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is proud to support the impressive work of Fighting Words NI through our National Lottery Project Funding Programme.  It’s exciting to see this company begin their next chapter in new premises, a move that is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities through the Health and Safety Capital Programme.  We wish them every success as they continue their vital work in fostering a love of creative writing in our young people, helping to bring great art to all.  Congratulations!” 


The launch was hosted by Board Member and radio personality, Rick O’ Shea, who interviewed young writers from the charity’s Youth Advisory Panel and Write Club members. 


Thank you to everyone who came! It was a fantastic night and we hope to see even more of you in our new space in 2024.