Encouraging Young Writers…

If you are someone who loves books and you think about ‘the youth’ out there we almost instantly think about the young readers and how we can make sure that young people are keen to read as much as they can, we recently even did an episode of The Readers podcast all about it. One thing we don’t seem to think of however is about the young writers out there who hopefully will be writing the classics of the future.

Maybe we don’t like to think about it too much as there is that awful thought that by the time they become literary greats or classics we most likely won’t be reading any more as we will, frankly, be dead. (This post gets much more positive I promise.) But without writers of the future then readers of the future might be a little bit stumped, okay they will have the ‘canon’ of authors yet where will be the contemporary writers and then the future, future, future young readers classics come from? It hurts your head doesn’t it?

You may be wondering what has got me pondering on the subject of future writers, well it’s this…

Candyfloss Clouds 1

Candyfloss Clouds is a book written by young writers and, equally brilliant, it is also a book aimed at young readers. How did I hear about it? Well it happens that this is something that the Beard’s sister in law has been working on it with the young enterprise team at her school and so naturally, being rather a booky bloke, they let me get a copy of it. Before you think shameless plug alert, the books are not on sale online or all over England, just a few select shops in the Chester/Wirral/Liverpool area, I just wanted to mention it because I think young writers writing for young readers seems so right…

Candyfloss Clouds 2

…And of course it made me think. What I didn’t realise is that these young enterprise groups in schools do this quite regularly as I discovered when I spoke to my mother, also a teacher as many of you will know, and she reminded me she had done similar things with kids in her schools too. Yet why do we not hear more about them? I mean with the latest furore about Gove’s changes to the national curriculum for English Literature (and only studying books by English authors) we need more stories like this getting out into the wider world don’t we? What is also brilliant and I can plug is that this group of young enterprise champions have now made it to the final down in London, so should any authors or publishers like to say hello then let me know!

Candyfloss Clouds 3

You see it is projects like this that show that writing, reading and books are by no means dead in the water and we should be celebrating this much more openly I think. Kids like to create and they like to escape and if all schools have ventures where their students are writing books for other students then that’s going to encourage kids to read their mates work and then reach for more books. Seems ideal really doesn’t it?

Do let me know if your kids/relatives/friends children have done similar ventures and how it was received, and most importantly tell me about the books they wrote, the titles, and what the storylines were. If Candyfloss Clouds is anything to go buy I am sure they were highly imaginative, creative and quite likely brilliantly bonkers…

2 Comments

Filed under Random Savidgeness

2 responses to “Encouraging Young Writers…

  1. Carol S

    Making books that then belong to the child, the group or the class was standard when I was a teacher not so long ago. We did not however publish them beyond the makers.
    Class and group books when finished were used as reading books and travelled up to the next class to use as readers until no longer needed. Individual books stayed with the child. It was a huge pleasure to do, a great deal of work and countless numbers were made eg in the shape of a horse or a star or a tree or a house or – use your imagination.- for each pupil.
    I’m smiling now when I think of them. Children’s stories are marvellous and never wasted, the individual ones were sent home at term end for the family’s pleasure too .
    One teacher in the school I worked in made an animated film with her class.
    It won a national prize. All this in a very deprived area. All children are bright and creative given the chance.

  2. That’s a lovely idea – and well done for highlighting it! My older son (age 11) is forever writing graphic novels and other books. I’ve told him that if he finishes his current book, I will help him to self-publish it.

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