Outsider Writers

Working with young people outside of the classroom.

Final call for submissions for the summer edition of the NAWE magazine. We’ve already had some great articles in and some excellent proposals so make sure you get them in before the deadline, full details below.

Submissions needed from Outsider Writers

NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education) are looking for articles on working with young people outside of the classroom for their next magazine. I will be co-editing the newsletter, so have a look through the guidelines below and get in touch.

It can seem that creativity is a dirty word these days, unless it involves accounting, and that the ability to memorise facts has overtaken the need to be innovative and inventive, but we know better than that. We know that NAWE members are out there, delivering challenging and inspired activities behind enemy lines, as it were, right under the noses of the wrote learners and table memorisers. We want to hear from you inspired foot soldiers. We want to hear about your successes, your failures; about activities you’ve tried, after school clubs you’ve lead; workshops in the community; online development; activities in school that are outside the curriculum; in fact, anything that gives young people an insight into the incredible, diverse world that is writing outside of the curriculum. We want articles, top tips, case studies, interviews, writing activities, advice and so on and they can be as inventive as you want. So feel free to submit a photo essay, comic strip, flow chart, haiku or any of the more traditional journalistic forms. Contact us with article proposals now!

Deadline update

Submissions need to be with us by the 30th of April 2013.

This magazine will be edited by Garrie Fletcher and Elisabeth Charis both are teachers and writers that work with young people outside of school.

Article submissions should be sent to editorial@nawe.co.uk as soon as possible. For any more information please contact Elisabeth or Garrie via the NAWE email above.

The NAWE website can be found NAWE

If you run a group but are daunted by the prospect of writing an article please get in touch with us, we may be able to help or even suggest a different format that enables you to share successful ways of working.

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Review: Among Thieves

Among Thieves
Among Thieves by Mez Packer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this.

It rattles along at a fair old pace hooking you into the lives of the three main characters who are Jez, a white working class Coventry lad at odds with his upbringing, Pads, a privileged middle-class university drop out who struggles with his attraction to his fellow drop out Andy and Mehmet an Albanian emigree who tells the story of his life to an unknown listener with sadness and honour. The tale is set in 1984 and mainly takes place in Coventry, southern Spain and India. The attention to detail is good, without being stifling, but I did find it odd that there was no mention of the miners strike what with Cov being caught in the crossfire between the Arley and Keresley pits during the industrial action and Andy being such an advocate of ‘class war.’ I also wasn’t sure about the use of the phrase ‘chill out’ for that time period, I don’t remember hearing it but then I was only 14/15 at the time. These minor quibbles aside I found the book totally engaging and bought into the whole premise of two middle class blokes running a small drugs gang in Skaville UK, however improbable that may be.

I thought it was very brave of Packer to sidestep dealing with Andy head on, who for me is probably the focal point for the whole tale, and to only allow us to see him through the eyes of Jez and Pads, brave and inspired. This approach works really well and gives Andy real validity something which may have been lost if we heard things from his point of view. Packer has chosen three males as her main characters and she draws out very believable protagonists, these are people you know, or have known, I was impressed with how well she captured male view points especially on women, honour, family etc. without sounding tired or second hand. I don’t want to spoil the book by talking about the plot, so I won’t, all I will say is that it snakes and winds around to a very satisfying conclusion without feeling overly contrived. Some of the description in the book is just gorgeous and I wish I’d made notes as I was reading it do that I could share them with you.

Friends recommended this to me ages ago and I only wish I’d read it sooner as its one of those wonderful books that stay with you long after you’ve finished it, one of those rare books where you dread getting near to the end because you know you’ll have to leave those characters behind but that you push on with regardless because you have to find out what happens.

If you’re thinking about reading this stop thinking about it and start reading it, great stuff.

View all my reviews