As a writer, I have often found that when we creatively engage with a topic, writing about it is the final stage of the process. We may gather imagery or information, immerse ourselves in the language of a theme. We might draw it, argue about it, collect it and critique it before finding an angle from which to write our own stories.
One of the more challenging parts of my Writer in Residence role has been to provide creative opportunities where Young People are supported in writing and story- telling. In Post-Covid Scotland, their lives have changed so dramatically, and responding in that context is far from easy. The festival’s theme of Stories Mak us, is not always clear cut when we are still living through the story.
Over the past fortnight, I have been fortunate enough to work with Young People at Create Paisley and the Tannahill Centre, with very different creative outcomes. Young people at Create engaged in two fanzine making workshops. Firstly, to explore concepts of self confidence and happiness, and then to discover ways to tell stories using imagery and colour. Participants made fun and engaging artwork out of magazine cut outs and coloured paper. These will be printed in a zine and shared as part of a Community Showcase, at Paisley Central Library: 24th February, 6pm.
Young People at the Tannahill Centre are working towards their own Mental Health Festival later this year. They wished to explore how Social Media impacts their lives and wellbeing. Participants planned, discussed and brainstormed, before engaging in a structured debate around pros and cons. Each group wrote excellent persuasive pieces, and really began to delve deeper into some of the benefits and controversies surrounding Social Media platforms.
Thank you to both groups for welcoming me into their space.