“Every morning, brilliant new stories are written by primary schoolchildren. They are all stored in our library (the stories, not the children)”. To read the stories and see the pictures, just click here.
Fighting Words aims to help children and young people (and adults who did not have this opportunity as children) to discover and harness the power of their own imaginations and creative writing skills.
Fighting Words is also about something much broader and more inclusive – using creative writing and storytelling to strengthen our children and teenagers to be resilient, creative and successful shapers of their own lives.
This positively impacts on personal, social and academic development – participants have demonstrated increased levels of engagement not just with creative writing but also with the whole school experience, leading to improved motivation, confidence, self-esteem, pride in creative ability, a greater ability to work collaboratively, and improved literacy.
Since its establishment – by Roddy Doyle and Seán Love in 2009 - Fighting Words has provided free tutoring, mentoring and publishing in creative writing. It has reached more than 120,000 children and young people around the country within its first decade.
Much of the service is delivered by volunteers, with over 1,000 trained volunteer tutor/mentors around the country.
There are now 12 Fighting Words outlets around the country: Dublin, Cork, Galway, Belfast, Wicklow, Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, Wexford, Coleraine, Kildare and Connemara. Fighting Words aims to reach every child and adult in the country.
We are working towards making Fighting Words’ free services available and accessible throughout Ireland over the next few years. To support this, the Creative Ireland Programme and Fighting Words have come together to push towards achieving this ambition to grow nationally, reach even more young people and spread the love (and benefits) of creative writing.
Creative Ireland also supported the establishment in October 2019 of Fighting Words Connemara, based at Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh in Ros Muc, where the workshops take place as Gaeilge . It is hoped that over the coming years workshops will be provided as Gaeilge wherever they are requested.
In 2020, Fighting Words invited 7-12 year olds to become Young Storytellers for Cruinniú na nÓg with the best entries showcased in a multi-volume Young Storykeepers digital magazine. Find out more about the Cruinniú na nÓg Young Storykeeper's Challenge here.
Another exciting project on the horizon is a joint production in partnership with the National Theatre for 2021, written by young writers for the centenary of the foundation of the state.