Find out more about a career in writing: Saturday 27 March 20121

Join Spark Young Writers as we lift the lid on the publishing industry for insight into writing as a career, for 14-20 year olds. Tickets start at just £10 (bursaries for those living or studying in the West Midlands are available – please contact us for more details).

Spark Young Writers is launching its first conference for young people who are interested in creative writing, being a professional writer, or studying creative writing at university.

During the afternoon of Saturday 27 March 2021, you’ll get exclusive access to professional writers of all genres (novelists, playwrights, screenwriters, poets, community writers, journalists and more), who will share how they got into writing, and, more importantly, how they managed to turn an interest and passion into a career. You can see the full line up below.

The conference will be run entirely online via Zoom so you can be part of it no matter where you live. You’ll be able to listen to the conference and ask your questions directly to those involved.

If you’re starting to think about what you’ll do after school, we’ll discuss whether you need to study Creative Writing at University, and what other avenues to writing professionally might be available to you.

For a limited number of early bookers, and available on a strict first-come, first-served basis, the conference will offer one-to-one advice from a range of experienced writers as well as the conference. These sessions will take place from 10am – 12.30pm and you will be allocated a time for your session nearer the time. If you are interested in this, please select the ticket type “Teen Conference ticket + 1-2-1 session” when booking. 


What does an agent or editor do? Do I need one? Liz Hyder, award-winning author of Bearmouth, Mireille Harper (editor) and Silé Edwards (agent at Mushens Entertainment) discuss how editors, agents and writers work together to produce a book.

This session is being live streamed so there will be an opportunity for you to ask questions on the day.

Should I do a creative writing degree at university? Ruth Stacey, Lecturer in Creative Writing at University of Worcester will tell you a bit more about what a Creative Writing degree looks like and what you might gain from it. On the other hand, Casey Bailey, the Birmingham Poet Laureate, didn’t study creative writing at University. They talk to Shantel Edwards (Director of Birmingham Literature Festival) and try to help you decide the right course for you.

This session is being live streamed so there will be an opportunity for you to ask questions on the day.

What about if you love writing, but aren’t sure if you want a career as an author? Are there other ways you can use your writing as part of your work? Sara-Jane Arbury, Liam Brown and Jasmine Gardosi talk to William Gallagher about the options that they have tried, including performance poetry, mentoring young poets, copywriting, magazine editing, writing audio drama, community writing workshops, and running workshops for writers of all ages and stages.

This session is being live streamed so there will be an opportunity for you to ask questions on the day.

Bestselling author and Children’s Laureate, Cressida Cowell talks about her writing life to George Bastow, blogger, writer, comic fan and Spark Assistant Writer. Which biscuit does Cressida prefer? And just how does she keep on writing? 

There’s still time to send us your questions for George to ask. Click here to let us know. 

The Teen Writers Conference is presented as part of Spark Young Writers, a project of Writing West Midlands. Writing West Midlands is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, and is the UK partner in the READ ON project, funded by Creative Europe to develop reading and writing in teenagers across Europe between 2017 and 2021.

Get Writing

If you’d like to submit a piece of your writing for possible inclusion in the magazine, please see the Get Involved page to see more details. This magazine is published online three times a year: summer (June/July), winter (October-December) and spring (February-April) terms.

With groups across the West Midlands, including 2 online-only groups, there will be a Spark Young Writers group near you.

Groups are open to young writers aged 8-17 who are interested in any type of creative writing.

Young Writers' Toolkit 2023

Wondering how you can keep writing, even after you’ve finished studying? Join us for the opportunity to gain insider knowledge.

Young Writers Magazine

Submit your writing for publication in our Spark Young Writers Magazine. 

Exclusively for young people aged 8 – 20.