As December is fast approaching, it only seems right we launch our Winter Writing Competition. Having had almost one thousand entries last year we expect to surpass that number this year and our judging elves are at the ready. The focus this year is on the place where we live. For anyone interested, please contact [email protected].

This right here is the epitome of job satisfaction. I provided a reference for a young woman I started working with at Bringing Words to Life when she was ten years old.

Having soared higher than she possibly ever thought she would, Lauren passed her GCSEs and A Levels easily. She went on to secure a first from Durham University and just completed her Masters’s in Journalism. Dedicated, determined and dynamic are only a few adjectives that can be applied to Lauren and her passion for the written word and the craft of journalism.

An honour to see her move on to the next chapter of what we know here at BWtL will be an illustrious career. Congrats Lauren White. You worked hard for this.

Earlier this month we welcomed two students to the team at Bringing Words to Life from Ponteland High School and Thorp Academy. Both were keen to secure experience in the world of media and jumped at the opportunity to create content for the Beep website.

Here at Bringing Words to Life, we pride ourselves on being able to offer young people the opportunity to develop their skills and love for writing through our projects. Beep was established for those reasons only. We identified that there was a lack of provision for students who wanted to write outside school. So we took it upon ourselves to create a platform where writers and content creators could experiment and hone in on their ideas while being able to promote their work and contributions on their UCAS forms and CVS.

So, welcoming Holly and Bethan for a week where they contributed informative and hugely entertaining content for the site was a great feeling for us. Beep was set up for young people just like them, to nurture their writing skills and use their opinions to educate their peers. The opportunity to experience life as one of the Beep/Bringing Words to Life team is open to any young person. For more information on this opportunity contact [email protected].

For some of the content Holly and Bethan created, follow the links below.

Five Women in History Robbed of their Legacy

Awaiting Exam Results and how to Enjoy the Summer

The Assassination of Harvey Milk

Book Review: Song of Achilles

You may have thought we had disappeared off the face of the earth, as we have been super-quiet lately. But fear not, we are still here. We have been working hard behind the scenes at BWTL to develop one of our writing programmes to make it much more accessible.

Write2 is a culmination of the Beep programme and our Press Pack workshops. Covid, like for many other organisations, had a significant impact on our work. Not being able to visit schools like we usually would, meant we had to consider how we could ensure the work we were accustomed to doing in person could continue.

We know the benefits of our programme. We understand how those who took part in the workshops enjoyed and recognised the differences in themselves from their involvement in the programme. It was, therefore, up to us to develop the programme to enable others to deliver it rather than our staff, while ensuring young people continue to benefit from what has been created over the past decade.

To find out about Write2 and how it might benefit your school, college or young people you might work with please refer to this information and contact [email protected] if you are interested in purchasing Write2 for your learners or young writers.

We are delighted to be running our fourth annual Writing Competition this year for primary aged students. After the success of the competition last year that saw hundreds of amazing poems from around the region, we decided to keep with the Winter theme, this year asking our junior writers to write about the perfect place to be in winter and what makes that place so special. Entries need to be submitted to us by December 6th for certificates and prizes to be distributed by December 15th. If you have any interest in this competition for your school or for your child, please contact [email protected]

Make sure you check out the Beep app. Now available for both Android and IOS. Check below for a guide on how to install the application.

We would love to read your stories inspired by this writing prompt – the best ones could even be featured on our website

We all ask them, some of more than others. More often than not, learning something from the responses we get. I love asking questions and finding out about people and things, possibly why I enjoyed interviewing so much. During my career as a journalist, I asked thousands of questions to music artists and professionals, immersed in all genres and aspects of the music industry. I would spend hours researching the people I would be talking to, even if I was very familiar with them and their work or achievements. Even if I was their biggest fan, I quickly realised, you can never know too much about someone or something.

One of the key points to asking questions that a person will respond to is ensuring they are relevant. Asking the right questions means you get the information you require – it really is that simple. You may need to placate the information out of your interviewee with several feeder questions, but putting yourself in their shoes and asking questions you feel that you yourself would respond to, is a great starting point.

Never underestimate how important your opinion is. This is one of the fundamentals of why we started our ‘Beep’ project. We wanted to give young people the opportunity to voice their opinions. The fact that the ones who were involved in developing the project felt theirs were ‘beeped out’ brought about the project’s name.

There are so many ways to voice your opinion, whether it be positive or negative. The key point is being able to justify why you think what you do. When we work in schools, one of the first pieces of work our groups are given is writing a review. The reason for this is that it encourages our young writers to give their opinions on something upon which they are knowledgeable.

Writing a review for something you buy online or something you watch on Netflix is part of everyday life these days. Why? Because your opinions matter. People want to know whether something is worth their time and equally as important their time. And who better to learn this from than people who have experienced it.

So, offer your opinion, whether it be by giving something a star rating, whether it be by telling your friends that the movie you saw last night wasn’t the best or by writing a review on Trip Advisor for the place you ate dinner at the weekend. People are always interested in what others have to say.

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