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Young Writers' Meet...

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The Jacqson Diego Young Writers’ Meet … is a three-day project that will enable young writers the space and opportunity to develop their writing skills through fun activities, exercises and workshops developed and led by professional writers and acclaimed children’s authors. Like our previous Young Writers’ Retreats, each day will be structured with a mix of activities and optional free writing time to help the children develop their work in a way that suits them individually. There will be a different author joining us virtually each day (see below) and the events will be run in a covid secure way.


Each Young Writers’ Meet will run from 9.30am – 3.30pm each day and they are being held across 2 venues, The United Reform Church (URC) Crowstone Road and The Balmoral Centre, Salisbury Avenue. Participants must be between 9 and 13 years of age and can be signed up for 1, 2, or 3 days. Every day will follow a similar structure but will feature a workshop by a different author. There will also be the opportunity for children coming along for the whole project to develop a piece of work across the sessions if they wish.


Everything required to participate in the writing activities will be provided in the fee, which also includes a copy of each of the authors latest books.


Children will need to bring a packed lunch and sunscreen as we will venture outside. Drinks and fruit snacks will be provided.


Each day there will be an optional book signing with our guest author, with books available at a subsidised price. More information will be forwarded closer to the event.


There are limited spaces for each day and booking is essential.



To Book:


Booking is for each full day or a reduced fee for attendance at all three. The cost is £25 for each single day or £65 for all three days. A deposit of £25 will be required to secure the space.


Please email us at to book. Please let us know which days you require and your child’s name and age.


We will confirm by email that there is space on the required dates, with information on how to pay and a form detailing contact information etc. to be brought with you on the first day of attendance at the retreat. Additional forms will be available on the day.

Young Writers Meet ... Vashti Hardy
Wednesday 28 July 2021

9.30am – 3.30pm at URC, Crowstone Road


Vashti Hardy is a writer of children's books spending her time between

Lancashire and Sussex. She was a primary school teacher for several years,

and has a special interest in children’s writing, especially free-writing and

the use of journals and creating fantasy worlds. She has a first-class honours

teaching degree with English specialism and an MA in Creative Writing from

the University of Chichester.


Vashti's breathtaking middle grade fantasies are published across the world in several languages.  Wildspark won the Blue Peter Book Award ‘Best Story’ in 2020 and the FCBG Children’s Book Awards and Brightstorm was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, Books are My Bag Awards, among others.  Brightstorm was also selected for Independent Booksellers Book of the Season and both Brightstorm and WIldspark were selected as Primary School Book Club Reads. Her latest book Crowfall has just been published by Scholastic.


Young Writers Meet ... Sam Thompson

Wednesday 11 August 2021

9.30am – 3.30pm at Balmoral Centre Salisbury Avenue


Sam Thompson writes for both adults and young people. His first book Communion Town was longlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize. Jott, which is about friendship, madness and modernism was shortlisted for the 2019 Encore Prize. Wolfstongue, published in May 2021, is about the hidden world where animals speak and he started writing it for his son, “who has speech difficulties and has always loved wolves … I hope the book takes readers on an adventure while also offering them a myth that they may find useful.”


Sam’s short fiction has appeared in anthologies from No Alibis Press and

Salt Publishing and on BBC Radio 4, among other places. He’s written for the Times Literary Supplement, the London Review of Books and other periodicals, and has taught English lit and creative writing at Oxford University, Oxford Brookes and Queen’s University Belfast. He grew up in the south of England and now lives in Belfast.


Young Writers Meet ... Lindsay J. Sedgwick

Wednesday 25 August 2021
9.30am – 3.30pm at URC, Crowstone Road


A former journalist, Lindsay Jane Sedgwick is a versatile and imaginative award-winning screenwriter and playwright. Lindsay has worked in an unusually wide range of media and for a wide range of audiences and clients. From short films to features to creating TV series, from family films to psychological thrillers, from games and apps to children’s animation, from books for adults, YA and children to non-fiction, to stage plays.  Her first novel, Dad’s Red Dress was published in March 2017, her second, The Angelica Touch in Feb 2018 and they were followed by Write That Script, a comprehensive character-driven guide to writing for the screen.

TV and film credits include the internationally acclaimed animation series, PUNKY, now available in over 100 countries. She is currently adapting Dad’s Red Dress into a ten-part series with Lunar Pictures, working on a cross border feature project and in negotiations on the adaptation of The Angelica Touch as a feature. In 2012, she founded the Creatives in Animation Network (CAN) to facilitate collaboration between writers and animators. She is a script and creative consultant whose current projects include a number of collaborative illustrated books, feature scripts and game narrative. She has recently signed a two-book deal with Little Island for the first two books in her Wulfie series for 6-9 year-olds.

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