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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 mostly 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.
*Journalism Club will see the return to in-person sessions, at our home in the Skainos Centre in east Belfast. More deets below.
Are there different types of Write Club?
Yes – we used to have one Write Club for all types of writers; now there are three different strands and we use the term Write Club as an umbrella term for all. Each has a different focus and is led by a professional in the field. They are:
- Write Club – ‘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 – a 12 week course for aspiring journalists. Led by professional journalists in collaboration with Headliners.
When and where is it on?
Write Club and Playwright Club are on Wednesdays, 4.30-6.00pm, which fits in nicely between getting home from school and dinner. Both are on Zoom.
Journalism Club is a 12 week course that will run on consecutive Thursdays from 4.30-6.00pm, starting on 30th September and finishing 16th December 2021. We are very excited to be returning to in-person sessions in the Skainos Centre for this one (there are confirmed rumours of at least one pizza evening).
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 become a member, you can join any of the sessions:
- 1st Wed of the month: Playwright Club
- 2nd Wed of the month: Write Club
- 3rd Wed of the month: Q&A with visiting writer (open to all members)
- 4th Wed of the month: Write Club
- 5th Wed of the month: this sneaky bonus day pops up every once in a while and we are hatching plans to make brilliant use of it - watch this space...
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 Fighting Words mentors.)
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.
What’s so special about it?
As a member of Write Club, you’ll have access to:
- A community of writers in and around your own age from all around Northern Ireland
- In-person and online feedback from professional writers & Fighting Words mentors
- Q&A sessions with professional writers, hosted by Fighting Words NI and our colleagues at Fighting Words in Dublin
- Publishing and performance opportunities, including the annual New Irish Writing supplement by The Irish Times
And the best bit? Everything is completely free.
How do I sign up?
- A parent or guardian can complete the registration process by contacting Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Once registered, members are welcome to join our online Zoom sessions. Details of Zoom sessions are emailed to members and parents/guardians ahead of each session.
To read/listen to writing by Write Club members click below:
- Patrick Maginnis, aged 14, Soulmen (irishtimes.com) (short story)
- Louí Montague, aged 16, Belfast (irishtimes.com) (poem)
- Jack Dickinson, aged 15, The Collapsing Pantomime (irishtimes.com) (script)
- Natasha Manganaro, aged 18, Boxes, Paper Laterns Literary Journal, issue 5 (poem)