Last week, my youngest group of creative writers finished producing their own anthology of poetry on the theme of transition. The move from primary school to secondary school is a rough old time for any kid and for our group, a prime opportunity to reflect on the changes: coming to a bigger school, dealing with new subjects and teachers, making new friends, contending with older and scarier students around school… a literary goldmine for my young writers!

Transition anthology

Transition anthology

Speaking of reflecting, out of all the different creative writing groups I run (11-12 year olds, 14-15 year olds and 17-18) it’s interesting to note that the younger the child, the braver he or she tends to be! My Year 7 kids are willing to read their poetry in front of an audience without being shy, or succumbing to peer pressure or awkwardness of any kind – it’s kind of like, ‘yeah, Miss, I’ll do it!’ That’s the attitude I like to see! This week, I’ll be taking four of them on a visit to a primary school to read their poems to an audience of up to 100 Year 6 pupils and their teachers, and show the younger kids the kind of creative writing opportunities they’ll be able to take part in when they come to secondary school.

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is a novelist and poet. Her debut novel, Gods of Avalon Road was published by Blossom Spring Publishing in October 2019 and her second novel, The Buddha's Bone is forthcoming in October 2021. Leilanie has also published three poetry collections: The Redundancy of Tautology (Cyberwit, 2021); Chemotherapy for the Soul (Fowlpox Press, 2017); A Model Archaeologist (Eyewear Publishing, 2015) and two self-published pamphlets: Toebirds and Woodlice (Meandi Books, 2012); Metamorphosis of Woman (Meandi Books, 2012), satirical novella Zombie Reflux (Meandi Books, 2014) and surreal novelette, Til Death do us Boneapart (Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, 2017). Leilanie is also Editor in Chief of Bindweed Magazine, a poetry and fiction online magazine that also publishes a quarterly print anthology. She currently lives in Belfast with her writer and poet husband, Joseph Robert and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of educational books. Literary blog: Meandi Books: Bindweed Magazine:

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