[The first rule of Write Club is do not talk about Write Club, but this rule really makes it hard to tell people what we’re up to so we’ve had it temporarily lifted to allow us to share the following – ]
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What is Write Club?
Exactly what it sounds like: a club for writers. Specifically, writers aged 13-18. Pre-COVID, we met up IRL in different locations around Belfast, but now we meet on Zoom. This has its downsides (like no sharing snacks), but it also has its upsides – like writers from up the north coast (or down in Co. Down, or the wildlands of Fermanagh) can pop in without leaving the comfort of their own county.
What’s so special about it?
As a member of Write Club, you’ll have access to:
- In-person and online feedback from professional writers & Fighting Words mentors
- Publishing and performance opportunities, including the annual New Irish Writing supplement by The Irish Times
- Workshops with professional writers
All for the low-low price of COMPLETELY FREE!
Who’s it for?
For anyone aged 13-18 who loves to write or wants to spend some time writing. You don’t need to be ‘good at writing’, or have been published, or have a ready-made story in mind (although you’re welcome if any of those things are true). All you need is a curiosity, an interest or an inkling that writing is something you’d like to do.
Our members write short stories, long stories and very long stories; poems and spoken word performances; graphic and flash fiction; scripts for plays, theatre and radio; articles about life as a teen in NI. In short: any form of writing that captures your imagination. If you have the words, we have the expertise to help you hone your craft.
When is it on?
Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4.30-6.00pm, which fits in nicely between getting home from school and dinner. It’s a very relaxed and friendly place – you are free to come as often as you like and stay for as long as you like. Once you sign up, you can join any of the sessions:
- Write Club OG (prose & poetry): Wednesdays, fortnightly
- Playwright Club: Wednesdays, monthly
- Journalism Write Club: Tuesdays, fortnightly
If Zoom calls aren’t your thing, you can use our Write Club online platform. There you can upload your writing and receive feedback from our mentors. (Writing uploaded to the platform is not publicly visible, so you can submit works-in-progress safe in the knowledge that plot twists, messy sixth drafts etc. will be seen only by Write Club mentors.)
Tell me more about the different Write Clubs
We used to have one Write Club for all types of writers. Now we have three, each with a different focus and each led by a professional in the field.
Write Club OG – ‘the original’. This one is for you if you have a particular interest in writing prose or poetry. Led by QUB Children's Writing Fellow and award-winning YA novelist Kelly McCaughrain.
Playwright Club – this is a space for writers of plays, whether for theatre or radio. Led by professional scriptwriters Emily de Dakis and Karris Halsal.
Journalism Write Club – these sessions are an opportunity to explore the world of journalism and write about the things that you’re passionate about, whether that’s the climate crisis, the impact of the pandemic on teenagers’ mental health, or something else entirely. You’ll learn practical skills in how to find and develop your story idea, how to lead interviews and promote your work online. Led by professional journalists at Headliners.
How do I sign up?
- A parent or guardian can complete the registration process by contacting Hannah at email@example.com
- Once registered, members are welcome to join our online Zoom sessions. Details of Zoom sessions are emailed to parents/guardians ahead of each session.
To read writing by Write Club members in this year's The Irish Times supplement, click below:
- Patrick Maginnis, age 14, Soulmen (irishtimes.com) (short story)
- Louí Montague, age 16, Belfast (irishtimes.com) (poem)
- Jack Dickinson, The Collapsing Pantomime (irishtimes.com) (script)