Tue 14 August 2018
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Help Paper Nations improve writing support for young people

For the past two years, Paper Nations have been working with NAWE as well as a range of other partners, to address the challenge of developing a culture for regular, high quality creative writing support for young people.

This week, following Encourage A Young Writer Day, we are running a UK-wide Call for Evidence to people and organisations who provide frontline writing support or inspiration for young writers. We want to hear from teachers, writers and community educators with expertise, experience and evidence to offer in this area. We are also keen to receive evidence from experts and organisations that help young people to experience and celebrate the art of writing, such as bookstores, libraries, publishers, festivals, agents, accreditors and competition organisers.

We want you to tell us about your values and approaches to teaching or supporting children’s creative writing. This Call for Evidence is about helping us to learn more about how writers and practitioners are working now with schools and communities to support young writers. We want to hear from teachers, writers, workshop leaders about their experiences, as well as bookshops, libraries, festivals and publishers. We want to know more about both the good practice and the problems. What are the things that are stopping educators from doing the work that they value? What ideas or solutions do these vital people have for change?

Director of Paper Nations, Professor Bambo Soyinka, commented: “Our goal is to sustain access to and enthusiasm for the art of writing; to share its value and make an argument for its place in our cultural, social and political life as a society. Your contribution to that effort, by filling in this form and sharing your knowledge, experience and expertise, is critical to our ability to meet that ambition.  At the end of the project we aim to devise a suite of resources that will support creative writing in schools and communities and we want to make sure that this will have its roots in practitioner experience.”

How will this evidence be used?

With this information, we’ll build a solid foundation of evidence about approaches to writing development across the UK. Professor Bambo Soyinka and collaborators will use the evidence to develop a sourcebook called the Writer Development Canvas. This will include a benchmark outlining good practice principles, a wheel visualising these principles and a series of case studies exploring how some of the best creative writing tutors, programmes and organisations in the UK put these principles into action. With these tools, we hope to improve the experience of creative writing support both for practitioners and children.

Seraphima Kennedy, NAWE’s Programme Director, said, “NAWE works with people who live and breathe writing in education. The Writer Development Canvas will result in key resources and an industry-recognised benchmark. The new benchmark will sit alongside existing NAWE creative writing benchmarks for undergraduate and postgraduate creative writing, freely available to anyone.”

How Can I Get Involved?

Click here or go to the Paper Nations website to sign up!

Our mission is to change the way creative writing is taught in schools. For more information, and to sign up, visit the Paper Nations website.