Creative Writing Mentor
Fighting Words NI
About the Volunteer Opportunity
Fighting Words NI is a creative writing centre for children and young people. Since 2015 they’ve been a force for creativity in Belfast and beyond, providing over 9,000 creative writing opportunities for schools and young writers ages 6-18: that’s hundreds of Storymaking Workshops for classes of all ages, scores of Write Club meetings, and dozens of special projects – all supported by our amazing volunteer mentors. Their patrons are the acclaimed writers Glenn Patterson, Roddy Doyle, Nick Hornby, Lucy Caldwell, Paul Muldoon and Dave Eggers.
Fighting Words NI are looking for volunteer mentors to help facilitate their programme of creative writing workshops for primary, post-primary, and community groups. In partnership with the Heaney Homeplace, they are holding a series of 4 weekly after-school Write Club sessions this June, for up to 15 primary school children aged 7 to 11, with their parents or guardians as part of a cross-community project. The four workshops are a pilot for a future ongoing, and free, monthly creative writing workshop series in the area.
The sessions will include collaborative and individual writing, guided by their brilliant volunteer mentors including, hopefully some new volunteers from the area. They are a lot of fun, and help children of all abilities to be more confident in their imagination, self-expression, and reading and writing. The sessions are brilliant fun for the volunteers too. They are uplifting and rewarding and impactful. For many of the children, the workshops, and the volunteer mentors, spark a lasting creative writing interest, even for those who didn’t like reading or writing before.
Anyone who enjoys working in a creative environment with individuals and groups – and is a good listener – is welcome to volunteer. You don’t need to be a writer or a teacher to be a Fighting Words volunteer mentor!
They currently deliver both in-person and online workshops (via Zoom). Primary workshops take place mid-week (Tuesday – Thursday) from 10am-12noon, and post-primary workshops are afternoon sessions – usually 1pm-3pm. Their community workshops and write club activities (for teen writers) take place after school hours.
Volunteers time is a valuable resource and they have volunteers who mentor regularly, and others who, due to other commitments, are only available now and then. Each workshop signed up for represents a commitment of 3 hours max, for a briefing before and debrief after the workshop.
Once your application is received your referees will be contacted to obtain references, and you will be invited to attend one of our two-hour training sessions. These take place on the first Tuesday of every month. Following your training you will receive our volunteer handbook, Health & Safety and Child Safeguarding policies, and you will be added to their volunteer mailing list from which a weekly email is sent, detailing upcoming workshops. Should you wish to volunteer for any of these, all you need to do is email the volunteer coordinator!
At the first workshop, new volunteers are welcome to attend and observe, with the hope that you will feel empowered to take on one of our workshop roles in future sessions.
About the Organisation
Fighting Words NI is a creative writing centre for children and young people.
Since 2015 we’ve been a force for creativity in Belfast and beyond, providing over 10,000 creative writing opportunities for schools, youth groups and young writers aged 6 to 18. We have delivered hundreds of free Storymaking Workshops, Write Club Meetings and special projects, all supported by our amazing volunteer mentors.
We want to show every young person in Northern Ireland that creative writing is all about joy, imagination and creativity.
Our patrons are the acclaimed writers Glenn Patterson, Roddy Doyle, Nick Hornby, Lucy Caldwell, Paul Muldoon and Dave Eggers.
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Register your interest
Volunteers may be required to complete an Access NI disclosure for some volunteering roles. A criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to obtaining a volunteer position.