Writing Journey with Sam Gayton

Sam Gayton, the mastermind behind this year’s Writing Journey gives us an insight as to what he’s hoping our young creatives will get out of these masterclasses and how it helps everyone involved.

What’s the main idea behind Writing Journey?

We’re aiming to connect creative professionals to talented young people who are just embarking on their ‘writing journey’. It’ll be an engaging and inspiring course for everyone involved. Most of all, though, I’d like it to be fun. I want to encourage young creatives to ‘play’ more, by trying out the various different forms that we’re exploring: screenplays, theatre, articles, novels, comedy. And I also want to get the creative practitioners leading the sessions to come away inspired and enthused, too. I always find it amazingly motivating creating with others – I feed off all those ideas pinging around!

What kind of things will Writing Journey be getting up to?

All sorts! It’s a real pick’n’mix. We’ll look at generating ideas for TV and film, comic structure, starting-point stuff like that. But there’s also a professional element that I wanted to include. Chloe Timms, for example, is a soon-to-be-published debut author. So, she’s got so much wisdom to impart about her journey into publishing, and the way she secured an agent, then a book deal. And let’s not forget Rosie Wilby’s TV and writing successes, as she goes from strength to strength in her literary and comedy career.

How important is it to help and inspire young people with creative writing?

Very! For some. It was for me. I didn’t become a writer in a vacuum. I studied fiction, I read it for pleasure, I discussed it with other very talented writers who loved it as much as I did. All that stuff worked. It honed my skill. But it also made started to make me think about where I wanted to place myself within the creative landscape. I started off writing lots of fantasy, as well as plays, but it wasn’t until I started working with other writers that I really found a ‘label’ for what I wanted to do: write for children!

Do you have any general writing advice for young people?

Find an audience. Could be someone in your family. Or a friend. Or folks online. Find someone that likes your stuff; someone kind, someone thoughtful, someone you trust. There’s no better feeling than sharing your writing. It’s such a rush of connection and nerves and pride. Don’t hoard up your words. Share them out. And once you’ve shared, then it’s your turn to listen.

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Sound like it’s for you? If you’re 18-25 and not in training, education or employment be sure to take part in our Writing Journey sessions this month by emailing For more information, see our Writing Journey blog post.

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