'Thought-provoking' day of virtual events organised by young people

Man staring at the camera in a hat

Touring poet, playwright, and performer, Inua Ellams will be performing his specially-commissioned poem, A Reflection on the Year. - Credit: HENRY NICHOLLS

A day of free virtual events featuring a publisher, podcast host, and touring poet, has been set up by a group of teenagers in Norfolk.  

Eighteen young people from the Lit From the Inside professional development programme at the National Centre for Writing have spent months planning the series of events.  

Entitled Chrysalis: Transforming, Thinking, Writing, it takes place this Saturday, January 23, and is a thought-provoking day of activities reflecting on the cultural impact of 2020 and how to look to a more positive future.  

Logo with a chrysalis in blue and pink

Chrysalis: Transforming, Thinking, Writing - Credit: NATIONAL CENTRE FOR WRITING

Vicki Maitland, learning and participation officer at the centre, said: "It’s been an especially challenging time to be a [teenager] – with teaching moving online, exams being cancelled, and social lives restricted to digital services.   

“Despite this, the group have come together every week to produce a series of events on subjects which matter to them – I’m very proud to have worked with them." 

The day will comprise of three events to reflect on a difficult year spent apart.   

Reading Diversely, will take place with Jarrold book buyer Holly Ainley, assistant editor Hannah Chukwu, writer and activist So Mayer, and student Amelia Platt, at 10.30am.  

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Then, at 12.30pm, 2020 Vision: A Reflection on the Year will take place with touring poet, playwright, and performer, Inua Ellams. He will be performing his specially-commissioned poem A Reflection on the Year. 

And finally, Workshop: Writing the Present will take place with mental health and wellness advocat Alex Holmes from 2.15pm, and is currently fully booked.  

The Lit From the Inside group is made up of young people aged 14 to 17. They were all selected for their shared love of reading, writing and books and their enthusiasm to promote literature in their schools and local communities.   

Freya Cushing, Lit Insider and sixth form student at Thorpe St Andrews School and Sixth Form, said: “It was a wonderful experience and it was a great opportunity to meet new friends who have the same passion for writing and literature as I do. Planning the event was a challenging experience but with the support of the National Centre team it became a creative and fulfilling event.”  

The Lit From the Inside programme is supported by Anguish’s Educational Foundation and The Norwich Freemen’s Charity. 

To register for a free place visit nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk. All performances and talks will be streamed later on Youtube. 

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