Next stop, summer!

Let’s talk about what’s happening before the end of June.

Breezing past the mid-point of June means that summer is just around the corner (you’d think we were excited or something), which means that our busy schedule of schools workshops is set to suddenly… unbusy itself. Does that mean we won’t be busy? No no no! However, before we even get there, let’s talk about what’s happening before the end of June.

Our Place

If you’ve been wandering up Divis and the Black Mountain over the last week or so, you may have noticed something a wee bit out of this world. Our Place in Space is a sculpture trail – depicting the planets in the solar system at relative distance from each other – but it’s more than just that!;

It’s the brainchild of Oliver Jeffers – a Northern Irish artist, writer, and illustrator – and astrophysicist Professor Stephen Smartt, that uses the trail of sculptures and an AR app to create an educational experience all about, well, our place in space. It spent some time in Derry-Londonderry early this year, and is Belfast until the 11th July – visit the festival website to find out more.

This connects nicely to the next Tenx9 event at the Black Box venue in Belfast on Wednesday 29th June, 7:30pm-9:30pm. Tenx9 is a storytelling event where nine people have up to ten minutes each to tell a true story from their own life. Tenx9 happens once a month, but this time around it’s part of the 'Our Place in Space' festival, with each story having the theme of ‘Our Place’. These events are always popular, so we can’t guarantee entry, but if you’d like to join us – let me know and we can arrange a time & place to meet beforehand.

Centenaries At The Abbey

Following on from the success of the Young Playwrights Showcase at the Lyric theatre last month, there is an event called 'Centenaries: Plays' on June 24th in the Peacock Theatre (@ the Abbey Theatre, Dublin). This event will showcase six short plays from alumni of Young Playwrights projects (18+) across the island of Ireland (two of which are by NI writers) and we’ve been invited to attend.

Doors open @ 3:30pm for a start time of 4:00pm. Feel free to contact us for more information, or RSVP direct to Mark Davidson ( by the 20th June if you wish to attend. It’s a bit further afield for us lot in the North but we have no doubt that it will be fantastic.

This Train is For…

Something else we’re sure you’ll enjoy (and is in keeping with our locomotive introduction to this post), is the latest publication from our friends over at No Alibis Press.
By former Seamus Heaney Centre Writing Fellow, Bernie McGill, “This Train is For” is her shiny new, second collection of short stories. It’s out now – so look out for readings, signings, and let us know if you bag yourself a copy!

You can find Bernie on Twitter at @berniemcgill or visit her website – – for more info.

Creative Writing Summer Camp

Exciting news! Our first ever Write Club Summer Camp is coming up on the 8th – 11th August!

This will be taking place at The Skainos Centre from 11am to 4pm each day, with an evening Open Mic session to be confirmed. We’ll need volunteers for this, and although it’s super early to put your name down for something in August – you can, so please do! (Some of you already have!).

There’s more information on our website’s page for Summer Camp, and please feel free to share that link with any teens or parents of teens who you think will be interested.

Is that it?

Nope! Whilst seeing some of you at Tenx9 would be great, we know it’s just not the same as having our very own social event. So…SAVE THE DATE – on Thursday 28th July, 2022, we’re planning a Summer Picnic for Staff and Volunteers, from 1pm, at Crawfordsburn Country Park, Helen’s Bay, Bangor. More information to come between now and then, it would be fantastic to see as many of you there as possible.

Oh, by the way, do you follow us on social media? The links to our social media pages on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are always at the bottom of our opportunity emails, but don’t be shy about checking those out and following us, too!

Recently, we’ve been featuring profiles from some of YOU, and it’s been wonderful to have the chance to share your stories.

On Facebook, you can also find a video of our fab Director, Hilary Copeland, talking about Fighting Words NI and how important our volunteers are in what we do. Watch it here. Know someone who’d like to volunteer with us? Send it their way!

That’s us for now. As always, let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see featured here.

We hope to see you all again very soon!