Sophie Brown from Fakenham Sixth Form joined the Writers Centre Norwich team as a Young Ambassador in 2016. Below, she recounts her first session with the team and how the experience has helped shape her independence.
I didn’t know what to expect when I first went to Dragon Hall, but it’s safe to say I wasn’t expecting to be faced with a beautiful Medieval hall full of young like-minded writers. I can’t remember how many pairs of eyes looked around the room in wonder, eagerly taking pictures of the high ceilings and waiting with anticipation and—at least in my case—dread.
I hadn’t done many out of school activities before, except a science camp (as a writer you can imagine how that went), so becoming a Young Ambassador was a shock to the system. A good shock, a really good shock. For once I was surrounded by teenagers who wanted to be creative and use words with care—instead of throwing them around pointlessly.
I was expecting a nice warm-up activity with an obligatory “Hi, I’m Sophie and I love writing” introduction to the group. But alas, they threw us in at the deep end: a two minute talk on our favourite or least favourite book/film. To this day, I can remember the atrocious yet heartfelt talk on my opinions of Twilight, it is still a highlight of my time at Writers’ Centre Norwich. It may sound like an easy task but to a group of teens it is a life or death situation; your reputation and people’s first opinion of you are at stake. Luckily for me, I got a few laughs and a round of applause at the end.
I think this activity set the stage of my time as a Young Ambassador as I continue to challenge myself with everything that I do. From judging a creative writing competition and organising events to writing reviews and promoting competitions, every task has been a first for me. It has expanded my writing ability; allowed me to work with other talented young writers; given me opportunities and I have enjoyed every single bit of it.
Most importantly, the people of Writers’ Centre Norwich have been so welcoming and kind throughout, offering so many amazing activities to all. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Young Ambassador and I encourage any creative young adult to apply next year. This is one whole host of opportunity you cannot afford to miss.
Sophie Brown, Year 12 student