• Alana Daly Mulligan

The Lit to Illuminate Waterford's Young Minds this November

From Jim Nolan to Peter Sirr, Waterford has been home to some of the finest authors, poets and dramatists over its illustrious 1100 year history, and now, with a love of literature at the helm, a group of young writers from Waterford Youth Arts are to take siege of the city for one jam-packed weekend. Their mission: To breathe a passion for poetry and prose into the hungry lungs of young people from the 10th-11th of November 2017.

Spark to the Flame

The Lit Festival of Reading and Writing is the brainchild of WYA's 14-19 years creative writing group who felt there was no event in Waterford (and Ireland at large) that encouraged people of their own age to actively engage with literature and the wonderful world of words. Once they had escaped the confines of their respective classrooms during the week, the upstairs room in Waterford Library became a sanctuary for the young writers in residence who soon began plotting their #LitRevolution under the guidance of their creative writing mentor, Eimear Cheasty. Grants were attained and the fun began as the young writers looked into the finer details, organising the writers to appear, the events to be held, designing logos.

Torch Runners

The Festival, focuses specifically on young people and their unique needs, and has attracted several high profile writers and poets who feel as passionate about literature as the organisers. Dave Lordan, Moïra Fowley Doyle, Colm Keegan, Lisa McInerney and Erin Fornoff are a few of the experts who will be leading workshops and panels, advising young writers in the making and of course, performing their own acclaimed work for audiences over the weekend. The Lit Committee of young people will also be leading groups and sharing their own writings, talking to others about how they have developed their process and realised how writing is an art in constant motion always growing and changing.

The Live Literature Lab, for example, led by acclaimed writer and poet, Dave Lordan will act as a gateway to any sort of public performance one could imagine yourself in. These types of intimate lessons with some of Ireland's leading literature gurus' is what makes this a festival different to others. There will also be a variety of writing panels held across the weekend encouraging young people to ask the experts any literature questions that come to mind! All these events and more will be available to book online as well as through the Waterford Youth Arts office at The Arch on Barrack Street. Workshop and event fees are kept to the absolute minimum or free in a lot of cases to ensure everyone can access the programme in some way.

Ignite your Heart and Let Your Pen Do The Rest

This festival, at its core, is about dipping your literary toe into the waters of words and seeing can you let yourself dive into your own amazing imagination. It is here to inspire, encourage and help young people find their own voice, be it poetry, prose or through the words of others. It's a festival for everyone, no person left behind! So check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and of course browse our new website. Help us bring our passion for words alive!

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