A new Felpham Young Writers’ Group has been set up, hoping to reach as many children (or their parents) as possible.
The group is aimed at ages eight to 15, meeting one weekend morning a month in Felpham and inviting leading writers to visit.
Joining is free, with a £3 contribution to refreshments. Parents must attend with children under 11.
Spokeswoman Tracey A Chippendale-Holmes said: “We have just moved back to Felpham and have some great ideas for creative writing for children locally as we do not see as many workshops in West Sussex as we had access to in London.
“This will be a drop-in group, no courses to be subscribed for. Some children prefer to read and write rather than play sports in their spare time and there are not many opportunities for them to get together.
“The young writer in the family is Adam Rafael Holmes. He is ten. His first book is being printed now and is called The Tunnel of Adventure, an Enid-Blyton inspired novella. It is raising money for I Can, the Children’s Communication Charity.”
Tracey explained: “When my job changed last month, I moved back to Felpham with my ten-year-old son. There is so much social history and literary and artistic depth to the Felpham area but we could not find any groups to join.
“Unlike in London, writers are very spread out, with few opportunities to meet. It was October half-term and there was a stark contrast between the workshops available to children in central London and in coastal West Sussex, so we decided to set up a group, partly inspired by the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
“I am not a writer. I am a solicitor with an arts background and a very literary son, so this struck us as a good way to meet other people.
“Everybody I have reached out to for session ideas and discussion leading has been very positive. Nobody has said no and we have plenty of themes for monthly meetings: how to feel and be inspired by the nature around us, using drama to act out ideas for plots, how to self-publish, transcendental poetry and good review-writing.
“We will meet one weekend morning a month in Felpham and invite leading writers and professors to talk to the children. Joining is free and writers can attend some or all meetings as they wish. We are just asking for a £3 contribution to the cost of refreshments on the day, if people can afford that.
“It has been hard to know the upper age limit for the group. So far, we have children aged ten to 13, but a very lovely 23-year-old writer desperately seeking a writing community in the Chichester area should also be welcome. For child protection and safe-guarding reasons, we will keep the upper age of the Felpham Young Writers group at 15 for now, but we are also choosing the best place for a regular Sunday evening poetry café that everybody can come along to.”
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