Young Writers Project Broadsheet Launch and Performance
From September to November 2018, writer Mary Branley worked with two groups of young writers in Letterkenny and Strathfoyle on our Young Writers project. This project offered a developmental framework for two groups from Donegal and Derry/Londonderry to develop authentic and meaningful stories and youth narratives through poetry, prose and spoken word. Through a series of workshops with writer Mary Branley, in Strathfoyle Branch Library and Letterkenny Library, the young people were encouraged to develop their individual voices in response to their cultural landscape and as a reflection of their own ideas and interests.
The Young Writers project culminated with an event on 22nd November which brought together the two young writers groups for a performance of their work and the launch of a broadsheet publication. This wonderful performance and broadsheet launch was attended by families and friends of the young writers, representatives from project partners Donegal County Council Library Service and Libraries NI, and members of the wider community.
Speaking at the event, Rory Gallagher, Executive Librarian Donegal County Council Library Service, said
We were delighted to have Kids’ Own work with us on this project with young adults. Having a project like this serves as an inspiration for the library service to show that working with young people is not just possible but the fruits of it are so useful and worthwhile.
For young people to come up and speak in from of a crowd is no small thing…What’s really important about it as well is that they are not just speaking but they are speaking their own words.
Trisha Ward, Assistant Director of Libraries NI commented that:
Libraries are about that engagement with communities and helping communities to become active citizens…[this] is especially true in Northern Ireland where the inclusion you get in a library that’s a safe, trusted space is really important in communities that are not necessarily safe, trusted spaces.
The young writers and artists performed selections from their work and the event concluded with an audio montage of their poetry and prose.
This project was generously funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund.