A WRITING group which has supported young people for nine years can offer much more than an outlet for their creativity, according to the woman running it.
Vicky Morris, the writer who leads the group, said Rotherham Young Writers could also give members the chance to find out more about themselves and gain invaluable skills.
The group offers a way for writers to see their work published and develop their literary abilities beyond what they learnt at school, she said.
Vicky, who set up Hive South Yorkshire which now runs the Rotherham group, helps 14- to 25-year-olds from across the county develop their writing skills.
She said members of Rotherham Young Writers have come up with “unbelievable” work which had appeared in various publications, seen them perform with top-name writers, and led to individuals winning recognition.
Among them is 17-year-old, Eloise Unerman, of Rowan Close in Goldthorpe, who recently won the Northern Writers Cuckoo Award.
Vicky said the Young Writers group is on the lookout for new members and open to all young people this Autumn with an interest in creative writing.
“You don’t have to think you’re a great writer to join,” she said.
“You just need an interest in writing and a willingness to try new things.”
Members perform publicly and meet other writers at events such as young writers’ festivals, open mic events, talks with professional wordsmiths, competitions and writing residentials.
Vicky said: “At school, everything is about writing to order and it takes away the joy of writing.”
She said that the group encouraged members to write what they want, freeing them from the confines of school-style writing.
This allowed people to develop their word skills as well as boost their self esteem, expression skills, and ability to shape thoughts, Vicky said.
“People sometimes come to us and say they don’t like poetry. It's often because the poetry they have read at school is not relevant to them,” she added.
“Then they realise there is writing that’s relevant to them and there are opportunities, particularly in South Yorkshire, to get involved and showcase your writing and have your work published.
“I see unbelievable work from very young people.
“It’s not lots of bookworms quietly sitting around.
“A lot of young people have come to the group for a number of years and developed themselves as people.”
Vicky added: “I love the power of creativity and what creative outlets can do for people.
“Writing for me has so many benefits and for young people at that crucial age of development it offers so many ways to learn about themselves.”
Rotherham Young Writers Writers is part of a network of South Yorkshire groups. They meet fortnightly on Mondays at the MyPlace centre on St Ann’s Road, Rotherham.
Visit www.hivesouthyorkshire.com for more information.