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#WriteThroughThis

USING WRITING AND POETRY AS A WAY TO HELP KEEP POSITIVE AND CONNECTED IN THE FACE OF THE CONTINUED CHALLENGES OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

Young People’s Laureate for London, Cecilia Knapp, has launched #WriteThroughThis, a campaign to use poetry and creative writing to improve young people’s mental health.

The UK national lockdowns brought with them severe disruptions to young people’s routines, a sense of social isolation, and prevented some young people from accessing their regular mental health support. However, even as restrictions ease, many challenges still remain. A recent survey by mental health charity YoungMinds has shown that 67% of young people facing mental health issues believe that the pandemic will have a long-term negative effect on their mental health.

To help find ways through these uncertain times, Cecilia is encouraging young people to use poetry and creative writing as creative outlet, and as a way to find a community with other writers.

Cecilia is running a monthly series of online writing workshops aimed at allowing young people to try writing. Each session is a low pressure, safe, creative environment in which to start writing. Whether you’re new to writing or more experienced, there’ll be something for you. All sessions have BSL interpretation and auto-captions.

Find out more below, and sign up to take part.

Cecilia launched her campaign in a short, captioned video:

Project illustrations by Jess Nash.

GET INVOLVED 

To take part in the campaign, share an original poem, quote, or a piece of writing with the hashtag #WriteThroughThis. Check out these top tips below for more information on getting started.

Don’t forget that to make sure we pick it up, tag @stwevents on Twitter, or @spreadthewordwriters on Instagram. Alternatively, please email your poems to hello@spreadtheword.org.uk, and let us know if you’re happy for us to share them.

FREE WORKSHOPS 

For 16 – 25 year olds, Cecilia is running free monthly online workshops. Cecilia invites you to join her in a low-pressure, safe, creative environment to begin writing. Take some time for yourself to experience the fun, discovery and connection with yourself that a writing workshop can allow. Whether you’re new to writing or more experienced, there’ll be something for you to try to help you out.

You don’t need to be able to attend the whole series, but you are welcome to sign up for all the sessions if you’d like.

All sessions have auto-captions and BSL Interpretation. Please get in touch if you need any additional support in order to access the workshops.

Please note: workshops are only accessible to web-users within the UK.

  1. Workshop 1 – Writing, Writing, Writing: Exercises to unlock your ideas

    Weds 26 May, 6.30-8.00pm

  2. Workshop 2 – Experimenting with Form: Demystifying form and sequences

    Weds 23 June, 6.30-8.00pm

    Access provision: BSL Interpreted and auto-captioned

    Sign up here

  3. Workshop 3 – Contemporary Voices: Great poets and how their poems work
    Weds 21 July, 6.30-8.00pm

    Access provision: BSL Interpreted and auto-captioned

    Sign up here

  4. Workshop 4 – Experimentation and Restriction: Using restrictions to push our poetry further

    Weds 18 August, 6.30-8.00pm

    Access provision: BSL Interpreted and auto-captioned

    Sign up here: here

  5. Workshop 5 – Editing and Refining: What to do with all our drafts

    Weds 15 September, 6.30-8.00pm

    Access provision: BSL Interpreted and auto-captioned

    Sign up here

MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE AND RESOURCES

The NHS offers tips for dealing with concerns about the Coronavirus situation on their Every Mind Matters project.

If you are struggling with mental ill-health then there are resources and independent advice available from young people’s mental health charity YoungMinds, including their YoungMinds Crisis Messenger.

If you need to speak to someone urgently, then you can call Childline confidentially and for free on 0800 1111.

For parents looking for advice and support, YoungMinds run a free Parents Helpline, available on 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm).

TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR POEM

  1. To help get you get started in writing your poem, Cecilia suggests beginning with a freewrite:

“Pick your favourite song, or even just the last song that you listened to. Put your headphones in and just write whatever comes into your head for the duration of that song. It doesn’t have to be about that song, it can just be about the images that come to you when you listen to that song. It can be about memories that come to you when you listen to that song. There’s no incorrect answer, it’s just time for you to be creative and express yourself.”

2. Writing prompts 
Cecilia shares some ace ideas to support you to find ideas to write about in this short, captioned video.


Keep your eyes on #WriteThroughThis on social media for more.

#WriteThroughThis Showcase

I know

by Leah Frape


Blue

by Anneliese Amoah


Be A Lioness

by Louise