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What is Write Club?
Exactly what it sounds like: a club for writers. Specifically, writers aged 13-18 in Northern Ireland. What started as one club has evolved into three, each led by a professional in the field. Pre-pandemic, we met up in different locations around Belfast, but now we mostly meet on Zoom.* This has its downsides (like no sharing snacks), but it also has its upsides – like writers from up the north coast (or down in Co. Down, or the wildlands of Fermanagh) can pop in without leaving the comfort of their own county.
*Journalism Club will see the return to in-person sessions, at our home in the Skainos Centre in east Belfast.
What kind of clubs are there?
Write Club – for writers of prose and poetry. Led by QUB Children's Writing Fellow and award-winning YA novelist Kelly McCaughrain.
Playwright Club – or writers of plays, whether for theatre or radio. Screenwriters also welcome. Led by professional scriptwriters Emily de Dakis and Karris Halsal.
Journalism Write Club – a 12-week course for aspiring journalists. Led by professional journalists in collaboration with Headliners.
When and where is it on?
Write Club and Playwright Club are on Wednesdays, 4.30-6.00pm, which fits in nicely between getting home from school and dinner. There is no beginning date - writers are welcome to join at any point in the year and come and go as they please. Both are on Zoom.
Journalism Club is a 12-week course that runs on consecutive Thursdays from 4.30-6.00pm, starting on 30th September and finishing 16th December 2021. It takes place in the Skainos Centre, east Belfast.
Our current monthly schedule looks like this:
- 1st Wed of the month: Playwright Club
- 2nd Wed: Write Club
- 3rd Wed: Q&A with visiting writer (open to all members)
- 4th Wed: Write Club
- 5th Wed: this bonus day pops up every once in a while and we are hatching plans to make brilliant use of it - watch this space...
- Every Thursday, 30th Sep-16 Dec 2021: Journalism Club
If Zoom calls aren’t your thing, you can use our Write Club online platform. There you can upload your writing and receive feedback from our mentors. Writing uploaded to the platform is not publicly visible, so you can submit works-in-progress safe in the knowledge that plot twists, messy sixth drafts etc. will be seen only by Fighting Words mentors.
Who’s it for?
For anyone aged 13-18 who loves to write or wants to spend some time writing. You don’t need to be ‘good at writing’, or have been published, or have a ready-made story in mind (although you’re welcome if any of those things are true). All you need is a curiosity, an interest or an inkling that writing is something you’d like to do.
Our members write short stories, long stories and very long stories; poems and spoken word performances; graphic and flash fiction; scripts for plays, theatre and radio; articles about life as a teen in NI. In short: any form of writing that captures your imagination. If you have the words, we have the expertise to help you hone your craft.
What’s so special about it?
As a member of Write Club, you’ll have access to:
- A community of peer writers in from all around the island of Ireland
- In-person and online feedback from professional writers & Fighting Words mentors
- Q&A sessions with professional writers, hosted by Fighting Words NI and our colleagues at Fighting Words in Dublin
- Publishing and performance opportunities, including the annual New Irish Writing supplement by The Irish Times
And the best bit? Everything is completely free.
How do I sign up?
Ask a parent or guardian to complete the registration form.
Once registered, you are welcome to join our online Zoom sessions. Details of Zoom sessions are sent by email ahead of each session.
To read/listen to writing by Write Club members click below:
- Patrick Maginnis, aged 14, Soulmen (irishtimes.com) (short story)
- Louí Montague, aged 16, Belfast (irishtimes.com) (poem)
- Jack Dickinson, aged 15, The Collapsing Pantomime (irishtimes.com) (script)
- Natasha Manganaro, aged 18, Boxes, Paper Laterns Literary Journal, issue 5 (poem)