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Raising the flags

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Check out the new United Nations at dlr LexIcon. Flags created by primary school children during our Nation Creation workshops in June are now hanging proud, thanks to Deborah von Metzradt who created this wonderful wall hanging in record time for Culture Night. The Nation Creation workshops, designed and run by the Irish section of […]

Secret Service

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Thank you, old man who picks up litter round our part of the village. You’ve taught me more about caring for the planet than any scary statistics, shouty politicians or noble environmentalists. I used to think litter-pickers were fuddy-duddy, finger-pointing fusspots with marker pens up their bottoms. But this small man’s big heart spills all over […]

Nation Creation on RTE

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Lots of fun this week creating nations with RTE’s News2day. New countries included Dolphin Island, where everyone owns a dolphin from the age of 12, to Siciliene where an underwater tunnel gives safe passage to refugees arriving on the island. See the RTE New2day report, 4 minutes into the link:   http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/news2day-30001385/10730844/#_=_ The Nation Creation workshops have […]

Creative righting

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One of the best things about running writing workshops is watching young imaginations slice through status, stick out their tongues at competition and kick privilege in the butt. In the last couple of months, I’ve worked with children in one of Ireland’s most expensive schools; a direct provision centre; a hospital, and libraries in different […]

Take Heart

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The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason. It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right. It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. But I think that the most likely reason of all, May have been that his heart […]

Super-scribes

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Hooray for the heroes of Clondalkin! Once a week for the last four months I’ve been working with nine wonderful children in direct provision to write their ‘Handbook of Heroes.’ They’ve worked so hard, imagining themselves as superheroes, inventing superschools and superpets, writing about their real-life heroes and, best of all, deciding how they will be […]

Storyology

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If you’re ever stuck for a story, why not start with an ology? There are hundreds of these ‘subjects of study’ to choose from. Some are well-known: Biology Psychology Mythology. Some are less familiar but respectable enough: Conchology – the study of shells Pomology – fruit-growing Algology – algae (there once lived a family of […]

Kids Rule

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no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear saying- leave, run away from me now i dont know what i’ve become but i know that anywhere                                                                                                                                                                                                                               is safer than here Warsan Shire’s ‘Home’ has become a kind of anthem for refugees fleeing war. But where to? The word ‘refugee’ comes […]

United nations

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Some hard things to do: Write a great story. Write a great story in a group. Write a great story in a group of strangers. Write a great story in a group of strangers who speak English as a second or even third language. Put them together and what do you get?  Misunderstanding      Argument Peer pressure         Power […]

Away with words

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  A feast of stories this weekend – and not a word in sight. The Silent Books exhibition has arrived in Ireland on the latest leg of its world tour. The gorgeous collection of more than 100 wordless picture books came together in 2012, when IBBY International set up a library on the Italian island of […]