Category Archives: Teams

What are you to Dracula? You are just a snack you are!


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Two shots from my recent trip to the North East to visit Degna Stone and Nikki Hawkins’ WORDCUP teams at Newcastle’s Live Theatre and in Ashington…

Degna’s team were brainstorming on the project’s theme ‘I am free to write’. All poems in the first round of the SLAM must address this theme. It’s been interesting to see all the different interpretations…

Brainstorm by Degna's team at Live Theatre

Nikki’s team are already published poets. They recently wrote and illustrated a book with the help of their teachers, another poet and an illustrator. This is a photocopy of the cover of the book – which had just gone to print at the time of my visit. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a finished copy.

Open Your Mind by Mainstream Misfits

One of the poems in the book was written during WORDCUP2010 on the subjects of mothers. I’m hoping they’ll share some of their poems on the blog. They’re a talented group of young women writing openly about the challenges they face in everyday life.


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Workshop Visit: Leeds Young Authors

Last week, I hopped on a train up to Leeds to visit a session with the WORDCUP team from Leeds Young Authors (LYA). Khadijah Ibrahim, who founded LYA in 2003, met me at the Leeds Media Centre. Over the usual pre-workshop bustle of moving chairs and tables, she told me about the group, their annual visits to Brave New Voices in the States and the range of projects she’s currently working on. The amount of opportunities she creates for her students is incredible and I was excited to meet the WORDCUP team.

The team is part of the wider LYA group. In this session, they were working on personification as a way to bring life into their writing and make it stronger:


They read and compared poems by Sylvia Plath, hip-hop artist Common and Langston Hughes. They then put their heads down and applied the techniques these poets use to their own writing. I was impressed by the way they worked together as a team, sharing ideas and feeding back to the group. They clearly take the editing process seriously and are working towards some seriously strong poems…

At the end of the workshop, two of the team performed a poem about the experience of being a twin which had me sitting right up in my seat.


Watch out for Leeds!

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