Double Blog

Sheree Mack is, our course, our Writer in Residence, and you will all know she has her own blog.  Her most recent post is so positive and inspiring we felt it should have an airing on our main blog too….

Here is what she has been doing and thinking recently….

It’s been a busy few weeks in residence at the Lit and Phil. If you happened to talk to me, I might have even mentioned about moving my sleeping bag in for the amount of time I’ve been spending within the building. I’m not complaining, far from it. I’ve enjoyed every long day I’ve spent in the library. And I haven’t been alone. After the first writing workshop in the series, I’ve gone on to host the Young Writers of Walker Technology College performing in the library with the wonderful Nev Clay along to give us some tunes and advice on writing. I was standing there at the back of the audience watching the evening unfold and I had that feeling in my gut and heart that I was witnessing one of those wonderful, unique moments which makes you feel so glad to alive. The confidence and amazing words from these young writers made me speechless, speechless.

These writers set the bar high as I went into the first few workshops I’ll be doing in connection with the library’s Young Writers’ Award initiative. This is something that we are developing as a means of fostering and supporting the writers of the future through workshops, mentoring, publications and awards for different categories of writing. This week I introduced a few schools to the library for the first time and these writers were awe inspiring. The workshops were loosely based around the past, present and future. We took inspiration from a tour of the place to create our present experience of being in the library. We drew upon the Society’s history to imagine what the Newcastle Museum might have been like. We each had an object that was gifted to the Society and wrote about it, either as an observer or as the object itself, bringing it alive. The final part of the workshop was a real leap of faith as we had to imagine what lay in the future for the Lit and Phil. There is a portal to the future within the library. Be it the window behind the catalogues, the bolted door in the corner or the space between the columns in the basement. The writers had to choose where and how they got through this portal and what the world would be like on the other side. What would the future hold for books and reading?

I tell you now the future is bright as long as these young writers keep writing. They need to be given the time, space and encouragement to practice and stretch their voices and imaginations. Hopefully, the Lit and Phil are helping in this process.

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