One of the highlights about being a children’s writer in Ireland is – you’ve guessed it – the children. Going into schools is the best complement to sitting in a dusty garret (OK cosy garage) and dipping your quill pen (OK tapping the keyboard) for hours (OK three) on end. And one of the recent highlights has been taking part in Poetry Ireland projects that bring global issues to the doorstep, from child labour to the refugee crisis.
In the WorldWise programme, funded by Irish Aid, secondary school pupils use creative writing to turn issues into people: to walk in the boots of a child soldier in Uganda or feel the fear of Mohammed as
he climbs into a dinghy to cross from Turkey to Greece. In another Poetry Ireland project, run with Concern, young journalists have been reporting on Nepal after the earthquakes and South Africa two decades after apartheid.
Thank you Poetry Ireland, Concern and Irish Aid for helping us lift our eyes from screens and exam papers to the great big world out there.