Sun 23 October 2016
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What We Do 

Yorkshire’s Young Creative Writers, a literature development plan for the region, is now being implemented on several fronts. I’m looking forward to working with NAWE and co-ordinating a new online hub designed for young writers to promote their work and the groups supporting them. The new website (working title ‘The Hub’), will create a space to share news and encourage spontaneous collaboration between writer and writer, between writers and projects, and between Yorkshire and surrounding literary communities both on and offline, in the UK and beyond.

Like any writer, young writers write for a number of reasons. Some may write as part of one of the many Arts Council funded projects in Yorkshire – like The Writing Squad, Leeds Young Authors and Sheffield Young Writers. Others write occasionally, for fun, with no formal support and just want to know what’s going on, and where. Some write for themselves, while others have had work published, and are hoping to become professional authors, like those involved with Cadaverine and Young Inscribe. Whatever the reason or ability level, the aims or the aspirations of young writers, as Co-ordinator, I can act as a point of contact for the latest news and keep up to date with grass-root developments: the successes, the achievements and the difficulties. I’ll tirelessly advocate for The Hub, to see it become a useful signpost for young writers in disconnected and confusing digital and worldly landscapes.

The Hub will grow into a resource assisting young writers already involved at various stages of development, but it will also be a trove for a young person completely new to writing, to reading, to key websites and the groups and events in their area. For teachers and those working in education, for instance, who are not literature professionals or writers, The Hub will offer a valuable insight into what’s suitable to refer their pupils to. The Hub will provide extensive features, including a mailing list, author profiles, podcasts and a listing service; a database of links to young writers’ blogs, webzines, organizations and writing sites. The Hub will take advantage of Web 2.0 technology, using mixed media and connecting to other platforms of user-generated content. We’ll let young writers ask leading authors and arts professionals the questions that concern them. We’ll cover events and competitions. We’ll have a “writers’ gumtree” and a modest enabling fund for grants of less than one-thousand pounds. But The Hub will not directly influence young people. We hope to enable and empower them; to provide a space where they can chatter, share news, and make their own choices as young people and as young writers.  

Pleasingly, underlining a commitment to professional development and empowerment, The Hub will be run by and for young people. Throughout the project, I’ll be working with a rolling staff of young interns. I’ll report back to Paul Munden, the steering group and the Arts Council. Together we can ensure that The Hub plays an instrumental role in giving groups and individuals the chance to talk, to keep in the loop, to raise awareness of young writers, and do what all good writing ought to do - communicate, unobtrusively, words that are meaningful.

Who runs the Hub?