Write By You gives disadvantaged girls and young women (aged 13-18) the opportunity to develop their creativity, confidence and written skills.
Workshops will be run by project manager Sarah Tinsley, as well as local writers from underrepresented backgrounds in the publishing industry. During this process, participants will have the opportunity to try out a range of genres and spend some time finding out what really matters to them, and how they want to express it.
To develop their work, Sarah will provide online one-to-one tutorials. These will focus on improvements to their chosen piece of work, as well as giving them the opportunity to enhance their wider skills of written communication.
The whole team will then work together to plan and host a celebration event. In conjunction with the distribution of a high-quality anthology of their work, the local community, friends and family will attend to read their published work and celebrate their fantastic achievements.
As Write By You is in its first year, we are only able to offer places to 20 participants. Please apply as soon as possible to secure your place!
We are joined by three phenomenal female writers who will be giving workshops and providing inspiration for our participants. Read on to find out more.
Alexandra Sheppard: Fiction
Alexandra Sheppard is a Young Adult author from North London. Her book ‘Oh My Gods’ was published in January 2019 by Scholastic. It was praised and put on ‘must read’ lists by a range of prominent media sources including The Guardian and Refinery 29.
She’s passionate about storytelling and weaving myths into her work. Her previous workshops in schools have been incredibly popular and inspiring, with young people finding her energy and enthusiasm infectious. When she isn’t writing she works as a social media strategist.
She talked about her writing:
I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a pen but only became a published author in the last two years. My creative writing journey was far from traditional (I don’t have a university degree) but I’m proud to say it’s now my profession. I teach creative writing classes because there’s nothing more rewarding than inspiring those with a story to tell.
Rakya Esime Fetuga: Poetry
Rakaya Esime Fetuga is a poet from London. She has a Masters in Fiction Writing from Royal Holloway and won the Roundhouse Poetry Slam in 2018 and the Spread the Word Young People’s Laureate for London Poetry Awards in 2017. Her work joins conversations on overlapping identities, faith and culture as self-affirmation. She has performed at international arts festivals and facilitated workshops throughout the UK.
She explained why she wanted to work with Write By You:
‘Workshops are a great way to take the solitary act of writing a poem and transform the energy. I’ve always loved attending workshops, finding a new way or a new theme to write about and being inspired by everyone around me. My favourite thing about leading workshops is the time spent sharing new work and the wonderful moment when a doubtful poet surprises themselves with what they’ve written.‘
Elizabeth Chakrabarty: Creative Non-Fiction
Elizabeth Chakrabarty is a multi-disciplinary writer who has published both critical and creative writing exploring themes of youth, race and sexuality. Her short story ‘Eurovision’ was shortlisted for the Asian Writer Short Story Prize, and her debut novel, Lessons in Love and Other Crimes is out in April 2021. She started writing as a teenager, and was first published in Spare Rib the feminist magazine. Elizabeth worked in film and TV, and then taught in schools in London before moving into lecturing in higher education. Now she’s mainly writing, so she is looking forward to working with teenagers again for a workshop to inspire their creative non-fiction writing.
Sarah Tinsley: Writer and Project Coordinator
Sarah Tinsley is a London-based writer with fourteen years of teaching experience. She won the 2020 novel manuscript prize with Spread the Word and Bookouture and has been longlisted for the Primadonna Prize in 2020. She won the Segora International Short Story Competition in 2015. Her short fiction, non-fiction and reviews have been widely published, including The Huffington Post, The F Word and Dear Damsels. She has planned and delivered writing workshops for whole year groups within her last teaching post and has also delivered workshops to young adults and undergraduates.