Young People’s Laureate Workshop

On Saturday 6 October 2012 thirteen members of the Newport and Torfaen Writing Squads visited Tredegar House, Newport for an exclusive tour of the National Trust property followed by a creative writing workshop with Young People’s Laureate Catherine Fisher.

The Young People’s Laureate is an entirely new post that looks to inspire the young people of Wales to get involved with reading and creative writing. It is not only the first of its kind in Wales; it’s also a first for the whole of the UK.

Catherine Fisher, as Young People’s Laureate joins the existing Bardd Plant Cymru Eurig Salisbury, who works closely with children all over Wales to inspire and promote a love of literature in the Welsh language. The project leads into Literature Wales’ 2012 focus of Children and Young People. Working with the support of a wide network of writers, the Young People’s Laureate will encourage a love of reading and writing amongst young people. In the face of increasing reports on the worrying literacy levels amongst the young, this project aims to be a positive influence on Wales’ youth

Tredegar House is one of the architectural wonders of Wales and one of the most significant late 17th-century houses in the whole of the British Isles. For more than 500 years the house was home to one of the greatest Welsh families, the Morgans, later Lords Tredegar. The Morgan family owned more than 40,000 acres in Monmouthshire, Breconshire and Glamorgan at the end of the 18th century. Their lives impacted on the population of south-east Wales socially, economically and politically and influenced the heritage of the area.

Extract of work:

The candlelight danced, a mere glow amidst darkness. It touched every object in the corridor, before releasing them once again from its warm grasp back into black space. My footsteps pierced the deafening silence, in continuous pulsating cracks as I crept hurriedly over weak, ageing floorboards of oak, and chestnut. In the faint ochre glow, expressionless faces glared at me, and the intricately carved marble busts cursed me having woken them from a deep sleep. Every cautious step took me further and further away from the humble, homely feeling of the library. The shelves that lined the walls, groaning under the heavy weight of books would be company to me, the only company in this solitary house. This feeling tugged at my subconsciousness, willing me to return to safety, to warmth, but something urged me forward; a curiosity, an urge, a passion. My feet moved in rehearsed motion, one placing itself in front of the other, almost as if they were leading me, controlling me. My breathing was shallow, and barely audible, though occasionally, a short gasp for air escaped from my lungs. It shocked me, as if it was coming from another body, another soul other than my own…