Young Playwrights: On Stage at the Lyric - Showcase of plays by NI writers ages 14-18 

The short (10-minutes maximum) original plays were developed by 14-18-year-olds from around Northern Ireland who took part in YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS: ON STAGE AT THE LYRIC between February and May 2022.  Each writer had the chance to create and develop their own original short play, then work with professional directors, dramaturgs, actors and designers to bring it to the stage. 

Young Playwrights mentor Emily DeDakis explained: 

Northern Irish Playwright and Fighting Words NI Mentor Karis Kelly takes top award at Women’s Prize for Playwriting

Northern Irish Playwright and mentor with Fighting Words Northern Ireland, Karis Kelly, has been awarded the Women’s Prize for Playwriting for her play ‘Consumed’, a drama about four generations of Northern Irish women at a 90th birthday party in a “house full of hungry ghosts”. 

Karis’ play was selected from 850 entries and 12 finalists, by the panel of judges that included Arifa Akbar, Mel Kenyon (Chair) and Lucy Kirkwood.  

She said of the award: 

Fighting Words Northern Ireland invites young writers to ‘go bananas’ at East Belfast pop up

Fighting Words Northern Ireland, has announced a month-long interactive exhibition at Banana Block in East Belfast, for children and young people.  From 5 March, children, young people and their families can drop in (Wednesday-Sunday) read a book together in The Pencil Portal writer’s studio and create a story of their own to add to the display.    

The Fighting Words exhibition will publish and display story-prompts written by Belfast youth groups and schools in recent months, to inspire other young writers.      

Director at Fighting Words Hilary Copeland, said: 

Six thousand reasons for New Year cheer- Fighting Words receives High Street Voucher donation from No Alibis

Fighting Words Northern Ireland has received an early 2022 bonus from local independent bookstore, No Alibis, following a pledge from the owner to donate 20% of the value of purchases made through the NI High Street Spend Local voucher scheme.  No Alibis, based on Botanic Avenue in Belfast, raised £6000 for the charity through the scheme which ran from October to December 2021.  Fighting Words NI, based in East Belfast, provides year-round free creative writing opportunities for children and young people aged 6-18 through its schools story making workshops, after-school Write Clubs and comm

Fighting Words NI receives grant of £9000 from the Shared History Fund to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland  

Fighting Words NI receives grant of £9000 from the Shared History Fund to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland  

• 39 projects have been awarded a grant through the Shared History Fund  

• The Shared History Fund is a £1million fund which The National Lottery Heritage Fund is distributing on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland.   

Investing in Joy

*This piece was first published in the new quarterly Arts & Business NI magazine 'The Spark'.

Throughout the pandemic, one purely selfish loss I’ve felt has been what a colleague terms ‘happenstance’ – the unexpected bumping into someone you know, and standing around shooting the breeze for too long until you’re late for your next appointment. Belfast lends itself incredibly well to this sort of random encounter. Over the past decade that I’ve worked in the arts in NI, this has long been my favourite thing about working in a small, interconnected place, and I’ve missed it terribly.

SHC X Fighting Words

Students and staff at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University together with Kelly McCaughrain (Children's Writing Fellow and great friend of Fighting Words NI) have made these wonderful ‘tiny masterclasses’ which focus on all aspects of creative writing, to help and inspire young writers.  

Flash Fiction with Kelly McCaughrain 

Kelly McCaughrain shows us how we can tell stories in just a few words, that leave our readers wanting more.