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Hello and welcome to the first in this summer’s guest post series!

The first guest post comes all the way from our neighbours in Wokingham.  

For this blog entry, guest author Alex Baker will be taking the reins. Alex is a volunteer at Wokingham Library when he runs a creative writing club for teens.

I caught up with Alex to hear a little about the group and why he started it in the first place.  

Over to you, Alex…

Writing has a reputation for being a solitary activity – the stereotypical image of a writer Alex Baker, the brains behind Igniting Writing

is someone secluding themselves in the corner of a café or their office, typing away at a computer and fuelling themselves with endless cups of coffee. But I’ve always thought that writing alone seems like a real missed opportunity, particularly for young writers in their teen years that are just starting out telling stories. It’s the age in which they’re still developing their writing style and their minds are overflowing with creative ideas.

That’s why I approached Wokingham Library as a volunteer in 2014 to create Igniting Writing, a creative writing club for 11-18 year olds. The group gives teens the opportunity to come together and write, sharing their imaginative story ideas with others and building friendships with other young aspiring writers in a fun, relaxed group setting. The library staff were incredibly supportive when it came to setting the group up and since then Igniting Writing has flourished, attracting over a hundred teens, receiving invitations to run creative writing taster sessions in schools across Berkshire and even gaining the support of published authors in the local writing community.

Each session we focus on a different topic of creative writing – we cover everything from building settings and creating characters to exploring dystopias, thrillers and beyond, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. For a typical session we open with a group discussion and then dive into some fun writing activities all about the week’s topic. Some are serious, some are silly, but all of them are designed to get the teens thinking outside the box about how they can develop their writing. Roughly once a month Igniting Writing also hosts ‘guest speaker’ sessions, where local authors, poets, journalists and other people experienced in the world of writing come and share their knowledge and advice. For the teens that attend it’s a chance to get the inside scoop from the pros!

Our regular sessions are held at Wokingham Library every Saturday morning, between 10:30am-12:00pm. Attendance is completely free and all you need to do to join is turn up for a session with a pen and some paper!

For the summer of 2018 Igniting Writing is also leading a series of exciting creative writing workshops during the school holidays. The first workshop is on Saturday 28th July 2018, 10:30am-3:00pm, and is all about writing superhero stories. The second workshop is on Saturday 4th August 2018, 10:30am-3:00pm, on the topic of world-building (i.e. creating a fictional world like in sci-fi, fantasy and many other sorts of stories). Both workshops are hosted by Wokingham Library, with a small charge of £5 per session.

If you want to find out more about Igniting Writing, you can find the group online at the following links:

Website: https://directory.wokingham.gov.uk/kb5/wokingham/directory/service.page?id=Wi6ijfJao4E 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IgnitingWriting

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/829509490414536/ 

Blog: http://ignitingwriting.tumblr.com/