Length of time at Fighting Words:
I’ve been working at Fighting Words since September 2018. I thought it would just be for three months….
Describe a typical day in your role.
On a typical day I write. Which makes sense, given that I work for Fighting Words. But I don’t write stories or plays or poems like our brilliant young writers. Instead, I write emails and letters and grant applications about them writing stories: I tell adults all over the UK, Ireland and America how these young people sit down in a workshop and, with only their ideas and imaginations, a pencil and a piece of paper, they create entirely new worlds of possibility. And then at the end of the workshop, they each stand up and they read their story out loud and for some of them that’s the first time ever they have stood up and done that. And then I ask the adult who I’m writing to if they would be kind enough to please donate some money to Fighting Words so that we can continue to run these workshops, because it’s really really important that young people in Northern Ireland keep writing their stories and poems and plays because that’s how we all begin to believe in our power to create possibilities and change.
What has been your proudest achievement or favourite moment while working with Fighting Words?
Every time someone makes a donation to Fighting Words it is the most amazing feeling in the world, because I know how much their money is going to help us - it might pay for a salary so we can run more workshops for young people, or biscuits for our amazing volunteer mentors, or website costs so we can publish more stories, or our Zoom subscription so Write Club can connect with more teenagers across NI. Without people’s generosity, we wouldn’t be able to do any of this.
Not many people know this about me, but...
I once trekked in the Himalayas. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically and there were times I wondered if I’d be able to finish but my friend Rachel kept two steps in front of me the whole way. When we got to the top, it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I’ll never forget the sound of prayer flags flapping in the wind on an empty mountainside at the top of the world.
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