In June I was chosen to be the Writer in Residence in my local area, Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown (DLR). I first spotted the ad for the role in the new, state of the art Lexicon library in Dún Laoghaire, an apt place to see it as the Writer in Residence room is on the top level of the very same library. It caught my eye because the residency’s focus is on children, young people and families – one of my favourite audiences to write and to run events for. To apply you had to write about your ‘artistic ideas and approaches’ and suggest some ways that you’d engage with readers in the library. At the top of my application I put this quote from Pablo Picasso:
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
Something I firmly believe.
Here are some extracts from my application:
I believe that creative children and teens are happy children and teens. I believe the arts and in particular reading and writing for pleasure, play a vital role in every young person’s life.
I believe in the power of story to connect us all to the wider world, to engage our minds and fire our imaginations.
I believe that the act of writing a book, with all its steps – from the very first germ of an idea, to thinking about the characters and plot, to writing the first draft, to re-writing and working on it again and again - helps build resilience in children and teens.
I finished by saying: I’d like this residency to be all about inspiration, creativity, building confidence in young readers and writers, and sharing the joy of books and writing.
I hope I achieve it – I’ll do my very best!
What I’ll Be Up to During My Residency
During my residency I’ll be hosting book clubs for children and writing clubs for children and teens. I’ll be organising book events, reading manuscripts and recommending books. The clubs all start in September – see the What’s On guide in the library or the library website for details: http://libraries.dlrcoco
I’ll also be spending time on my own writing. My writing base for the year will be the Writer in Residence room in the extraordinary Lexicon Library and Cultural Centre. Here’s a photo of my desk - it has a stunning view of the sea:
And here is a family visiting last week:
My First Visitors
Here is the Children’s Library which is crammed with thousands of fantastic children’s books:
The Children's Library
And here is the Teen area which also has a 3D printer:
The Teen Area
There is also a lovely cafe area where you can sit and watch the world go by over a hot chocolate:
So far, I’ve been working on a script for a play for children and families based on an award-winning picture book – more about that soon, and three picture books, two with a library theme, one about a baby whale. I’ve also been planning the year – putting together notes for the various book club and writing clubs.
Watch this space to see what I get up to next!
Yours in books,
This blog also appeared on the Girls Heart Books website - an excellent website for readers of age 8 to 14.