Independent Arts' creative writing group for 16–25 year olds is currently taking a break. Phase two of the project, in 2017, saw our young writers publish their second collection of writing, Anonthology Volume II, as well as working with older and younger people to produce a further collection of collaborative writing.
The young writers got to grips with blogging, poetry, micro- and flash-fiction, performing their work, planning a novel, getting published and pitching their work to magazines.
Our Creative Writers project has given budding writers aged 16–25 years the opportunity to gain advice, support and feedback on their work under the direction of Amy Mackelden, a writer and blogger who has written for Heat magazine, and websites like Hello Giggles and Bustle. The group chose to call itself The Anon Writers.
Originally funded by Arts Council England, the project began in February 2016, with young writers meeting once a week in Newport. Phase two, in 2017, was funded by WightAid.
Writers have been encouraged to contribute pieces to The Anon Writers blog, and the group's first collection, titled Anonthology, was launched at Waterstones in Newport on 24th September 2016. The second collection was published in September 2017 and launched at Strings Bar and Venue, where all copies promptly sold out!
"The showcase of our work at the book launch is an incredible example of just how much groups like this help young people to create amazing works that, without a fantastic platform to push work forward, may not have happened at all. I'm thankful for every second."
"It's kept me inspired and created a space to discuss ideas and write new things. It's given me the confidence and motivation to keep writing."
"I've grown as a writer, made friends and become more confident."
"I went into this group having written one review. I sit here now with a wealth of knowledge on a variety of written modes. Not only this, but my confidence has soared through this project. The opportunity to perform my work, see how it sound, edit and improve has helped both my personal and academic development."
Anonthology is a collection of work by The Anon Writers, a young writers group launched by Independent Arts and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Since starting in February 2016 the Young Writers workshops have given budding writers aged 16–25 the opportunity to gain advice, support and feedback on their work. Comprising of bloggers, poets, musicians, journalists and future novelists, the Anon Writers have explored poetry, flash-fiction, non-fiction, the future and pop culture and are proud to present their first collection of work.
Independent Arts welcomed members of the public to the official book launch of Anonthology at Waterstones, Newport, on 24th September, to celebrate the talent of local young writers and hear spoken word performances.
Above at the launch: Creative writing tutor Amy Mackelden (left) and Independent Arts' project Manager Jessica Paine (right) with young writers whose work features in the book. Back row: Noah McAllister, Crystal Prince, David Jowitt, Ben Homes, Andrew Butcher. Front row: Eloise Preston, Sophie Downton, Jessie Mansell, Hannah Sothcott, Lorna Brownsword, Anastasia Wolfe. More photos of the event below.
Children aged 7– 11 joined our creative writing challenge at libraries around the island during June and July 2017.
They explored magical realms, mythical creatures and Minecraft adventures in our creative writing workshops.
Sessions were free to attend and materials were supplied.
Thanks to WightAID for supporting Independent Arts' Creative Writers project during 2017.
Check out the work of our creative young writers in their blog.
Read the report and evaluation for the Young Writers 2016 project here.