Penguin Random House Ireland is launching a three-year partnership with creative writing organisation Fighting Words to promote equal opportunities for young people.
Fighting Words, established by Roddy Doyle and Sean Love in 2009, supports communities in Dublin and Belfast, where they run creative writing workshops for schools and children aged eight to 18. PRH Ireland will mobilise its employees and authors to volunteer their time and skills as well as raise funds for the charity to grow across Ireland.
The partnership builds on a wider long-term partnership between Penguin Random House UK and Ministry of Stories, a London-based charity founded on the same principles as Fighting Words and part of a global network of creative writing and mentoring centres. The partnership headlined its "Creative Responsibility Manifesto", a formal programme devised by PRH to improve diversity which launched in February.
Students of Collinstown Park Community College, Clondalkin with Roddy Doyle, PRH author and co-founder of Fighting Words, and Michael McLoughlin, m.d. of Penguin Random House Ireland.
PRH's efforts go towards bridging what it terms the "creativity gap", recognising social mobility, ethnicity and geographic location are factors that can prevent individuals from having equal opportunities to fulfil their creative potential. Its aim is to encourage young people, regardless of background, to "improve their writing, build confidence, self-respect and motivation, and achieve better results in the classroom".
Michael McLoughlin, m.d of Penguin Random House Ireland, said: “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 children 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.”
Doyle said: “I’m delighted that my publisher, Penguin Random House, is going to work with Fighting Words. It seems to make great, happy sense - people who publish books partnering with people who encourage children and young people to write them. Maybe we should change the name to Fighting Penguins!”