Fighting Words: Issue Five – going strong and moving on

The stories in this year’s selection by young writers include one from Fighting Words Belfast

 

This year’s Irish Times supplement of new writing by children and young adults is the fifth edition of this award-winning publication. Once again, the imagination and craftsmanship on display is wonderful. It is important to emphasise that the stories we have included here are just a small selection taken from many hundreds of impressive submissions.

When we set up Fighting Words, we were looking to address the absence of outlets for children and teenagers on the northside of Dublin to engage with creative writing, and the lack of space for creative writing in the school curriculum. Now open six years, we quickly discovered that absence is not just in north Dublin.

Children come from every corner of Ireland, and we have hosted more than 50,000 students in free creative writing workshops and programmes. We are especially delighted and proud to say that Fighting Words Belfast is now up and running, with workshops at the Skainos centre in east Belfast. You’ll notice a story included in this year’s supplement written by a young student from Bloomfield College in east Belfast – the first of many, we hope. For those interested in finding out more, getting involved, booking workshops for their students, volunteering, helping with funding, just go to: youngatart.co.uk/projects/fighting-words- belfast.

Those who read this publication every spring will be tired of hearing that we are constantly booked out, oversubscribed and, that if we had the capacity and resources, we would host five times as many children every day, such is the demand. But it’s true. We are not state funded, south or north.

A small number of private individuals and organisations fund our work, and we receive colossal amounts of support from many arts and media organisations, such as The Irish Times. Most of all, we have 500 volunteer tutors, and they are the lifeblood of Fighting Words.

Our purpose is to provide the opportunity to engage with creative writing for as many children as we can reach – for every child in the country if possible. If you’d like to find out more about Fighting Words, about volunteering or to help fund our work, the contact details are below.

As always, we are immensely grateful to The Irish Times for providing such a prestigious platform for Ireland’s young writers.

Seán Love and Roddy Doyle, Co-Founders
 

The Fighting Words editorial committee who chose the stories for this selection: Laura Cassidy, Roddy Doyle, Catherine Dunne, Jean Hanney, Joanne Hayden, Helen Seymour, Gerard Smyth and Alex Tierney

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