January Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We’re thrilled to wish you a Happy New Year, albeit now we’ve nudged into February!! The festive season has been one of contrasts with the chance to gather briefly with loved ones before being locked down again but we’re keeping focused on the positive shafts of light that have broken through the clouds. The remarkable Amanda Gorman, America’s first National Youth Poet Laureate, mentor and board member at our US hub sister organisation, 826 National, gave us goosebumps with the recitation of her poem ‘The Hill We Climb’ at President Biden’s inaugural celebration.  The embodiment of our shared mission, she is an inspiration to our young people about the possibilities and pathways that creative writing can offer and the power of the written word.  And as a standard-bearer for our next generation, we’re joining with her in celebrating the voice of youth by championing their role in shaping Little Green Pig’s future, and on which, we’re keen to share news….

Call out for LGP Youth Board members 

Back in November we introduced you to Mai, our intern supported by the #Iwill fund that seeks to empower young people to engage with social activism as part of shaping the future of their communities. Mai is leading on recruiting our Youth Board and to that end, she’s been consulting with sector leaders at London’s Roundhouse and Young Identity in Manchester to establish a working model and best practice.  And so, we’re hugely excited to put the call out to young creatives with a passion for writing, poetry, spoken word and stories to tell.  Need to know more?  Mai tells you everything you need to know here and if you’d like to take it further, please download an application form from the Work with Us page on our website.  We’re keen to hear from as diverse a group of young people, aged 14 – 18 years, who are keen to share their own unique voices and experiences in shaping the future of Little Green Pig.

Monday clubs take to the virtual stage 

Our After School Club members attending the Monday club, usually held at Whitehawk Library but now in an online virtual classroom since March last year, have developed new ways of working with the workshop leader and volunteers.  Writing together in real time, the 12 club members have been developing scripts over the Autumn 2020 term and together, came up with the theme of two characters, Liberty and Eustace Wilbur Sanderson who are trapped in an abandoned schoolhouse, on which to base their plays. Each club member thought about the characters and plot lines themselves and then decided which of the volunteer story mentors they would cast in the roles they’d developed.  Horror, suspense, spooky happenings and daring-do unfolded in a series of the most fantastic and wacky performances by workshop leader, Adam, along with volunteers Chris, Natalie, Sally and Nikki dressed up in suitably theatrical costumery.  We look forward to sharing more of their work with you over coming months but for now; dim the lights, grab the popcorn and sit back and enjoy Rosie’s play featuring one of her most favourite things, a horse…of course!


And finally… Happy Here

A brilliant collaboration sees the BookTrust, inclusive publisher Knights On and charitable organisation the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) join forces to distribute an anthology of works by Black British authors to every primary school throughout the country.  Aimed at children aged 7+, Happy Here features an introduction from bestselling author Sharna Jackson and includes stories and poems exploring themes of joy, home and family. Each of the 10 authors has been paired with a different illustrator to further spotlight Black British artistic talent.

It’s particularly exciting news for Little Green Pig as two of the authors featured in the anthology, contributed to our digital masterclass programme last year.  Young people’s author Patrice Lawrence (Orangeboy, Indigo Donut) shared her five tips for describing locations while poet author Joseph Coelho (Luna Loves Art, The Girl Who Became A Tree) introduced our club members to the Clerihew and how to write one.

Happy Here is published in response to the BookTrust and CLPE’s Reflecting Reality research in 2020 which highlighted the under representation of authors and illustrators of colour in school settings and minority ethnic characters within children’s books, respectively.  This feels a timely and important step in redressing that balance and we hope that in our own small way, we can be part of that change by encouraging our children and young people as the next generation creatives.