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NATIONAL WRITING DAY

‘FIRST STORY’

Something you have to be able to do but not necessarily something you enjoy doing. Now, yes, I might have a smidgen of bias, but I genuinely think we could all benefit from a little bit more of the written word in our lives.

The 24th of June 2020 is the fourth annual celebration of ‘National Writing Day’ which was introduced by First Story, ‘England’s leading creative writing charity for young people.’

On their website they state that their mission is to ‘support young people from all backgrounds to write creatively for pleasure and for agency.’ They even have an introductory video to introduce you to the day. The emphasis on ‘creativity’ is refreshing as most people who tell me they hated English at school always recall nightmare grammar lessons and badly taught Shakespeare sessions. However, now more than ever I think the ability to transform your own reality into something much more vibrant, might just be what we all need.

As you would expect there are a multitude of activities going on for you to get involved in! First story has arranged the #247challenge which ‘is intended as a moment of unity, of freedom and- most importantly – of fun where students, teachers- and anyone who wants to be involved- can enjoy writing together and take a moment to express themselves.’ This is a great one if you just want to dip your toes into the water as all you have to do is write a 24-word story starting with the words ‘one day.’ After you’ve created your masterpiece all there is left to do is share it on all your favourite social media channels using the hashtag and tag three of your favourite people. There are already loads of amazing entries up on their website  if you are in need of some inspiration, which can be found here.

“…a moment of unity, of freedom and- most importantly – of fun where students, teachers- and anyone who wants to be involved- can enjoy writing together and take a moment to express themselves.” – First Story

The Literacy Trust an ‘independent charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed’ are also proud partners of this celebratory day. They have activities such as #MyDearNewFriend. They say that ‘this project encourages children to write letters to people living in care homes.’ Or if that’s not your cup of tea Poet Laila Sumpton is also running a workshop focusing on how you can write poetry about Lockdown and really digest your own feelings. As well as this, Poet Simon Mole is dedicating his time focusing on teaching children how to film and edit their own readings to share on the day. There are even workshops on how you can write your own comedy script with BBC Comedy Classroom.  They advertise it as a pack ‘full of top tips from professional comedians to get your comedy career of the ground.’ With most children having not yet returned to school this may be a nice way to reignite their imaginations. I’ll leave a link to where you can access all of these amazing resources here.

 

There are countless benefits of participating in any sort of creative writing. Whether that is reducing anxiety, which we’ve all had an extra dose of recently or improving empathy (which current circumstances dictate we all need more of) as you imagine new characters engaging with one another. Writing creatively can open up your own perspective and get you out of your comfortable safety net. So, whether you want to partake in an organised activity or just start getting pen to paper, there couldn’t be a better day to start than the 24th of June.

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