Published 01.04.2021
by Kids’ Own

Kids’ Own launches On the Brink!

On Wednesday the 24th of March 2021, we were delighted to launch our new publication On the Brink, a collection of poetry and prose by young authors from Counties Derry and Donegal. Kids’ Own Associate Writer Mary Branley had been working with some members of this group since 2018, and others since the beginning of 2020. The effect of Mary’s support and mentorship was clear in the atmosphere of camaraderie and confidence amongst the writing group on the night of the launch.

On the Brink is the result of a cross-border initiative developed in partnership with Donegal County Library Service and Libraries NI and funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund. Over a number of weeks, the writers met with Mary in two distinct groups, but also came together for joint sessions, to connect and share their work.

Unfortunately, due to the effects of Covid-19, the groups’ in-person meetings were limited, but in spite of library closures, they were able to continue meeting online throughout the year. The resulting publication, On the Brink, includes the literary works of eleven teenagers, which reflect their talents and imagination.

At the launch, several contributing authors read from their work, which was followed by a lively discussion – led by the young people – about their influences, and how they support and provide feedback on each other’s work. When it came to inspiration each Young Writer agreed that this whole project taught them to draw inspiration from each other. “We get so much of our inspiration from each other and our writing” said Aoibh McCaffrey, one of the young writers.

In attendance at the launch was Rory Gallagher, Executive Librarian at Letterkenny Central Library who said: “This project is about the imagination and nurturing new abilities and the motivation to actually produce something. All of the work is emotional, fiery and it’s topical too!”

Trisha Ward, Assistant Director at Libraries NI was also in attendance and had this to say: “Only Mary can bring a group like this together and get them to work together so well. It has been a great experience for the people involved and I hope that this experience will be the start of a journey for you through life”.

Mary, in her own foreword to the publication, said, At the heart of this writing is courage, daring originality, generosity of spirit and humour. If I may use Aaliyah’s definition and apply it to these writers; made of blood, bone and stars, everyone”.

Copies of On the Brink are free for a limited period. To request a copy, please send an email to [email protected]

If you missed the launch, a recording is available to view at the Vimeo link below.

Newsletter