Claire von Schilling
Penguin Random House, Executive Vice President Corporate Communications
Phone: + 1 212 782 98 76
Country: United Kingdom
Penguin Random House Ireland has become a partner of Fighting Words, a creative writing centerthat helps thousands of young people in Ireland to develop their creative potential – regardless of their social background. The Irish publishing group is relying on the experience of Penguin Random House UK, which has a long-term partnership with Ministry of Stories in London, an organization that pursues goals similar to those of Fighting Words. Both are part of a part of a global network of creative writing centers based on the model of 826 National in the U.S. The organizations seek to win and inspire as many children and young people as possible for creative writing and creativity in their respective countries, with free learning and mentoring programs.
The backbone of Fighting Words' work is formed by volunteer tutors and mentors who organize and run its programs and workshops. The co-founder and Chairman of the organization is Roddy Doyle, Booker Prize winner and one of Penguin Random House's most famous Irish authors: "I'm delighted that my publisher, Penguin Random House, is going to work with Fighting Words," he said. "It seems to make great, happy sense – people who publish books partnering with people who encourage children and young people to write them." And typically for Roddy Doyle he added: "Maybe we should change the name to Fighting Penguins!"
The publisher's Managing Director in Ireland, Michael McLoughlin, adds: "It's clear that there are many children in Ireland who don't feel confident enough to explore their creativity. Fighting Words has provided a welcoming environment where kids can do just that in inner-city Dublin for a number of years under the expert guidance of Sean Love and Roddy Doyle. I've admired the work they do for children from afar for some time and we're delighted that they have welcomed the support we've offered them as they grow across Ireland and bring creativity into children's lives, not least in view of the fact that Fighting Words has expanded beyond Dublin to other regions of Ireland."
Together the partners want to give young people confidence, self-respect and motivation through Fighting Words as Ministry of Stories does in neighboring England, allowing their creativity to run free and thereby not least achieving better results in the classroom. Ultimately, they would like to help bridge the 'creativity gap' caused by factors such as social mobility or migration. Penguin Random House Ireland wants to specifically mobilize its employees and authors to volunteer to support the work of Fighting Words. The volunteers will work in a team that already comprises numerous journalists, playwrights and novelists, as well as literature students and aspiring, active or retired teachers.