Our most recent research on children and young people's writing shows that writing is at a crisis point. In 2023, fewer than 1 in 3 children and young people aged 8 to 18 told us that they enjoyed writing in their free time. This is one of the lowest levels of writing enjoyment we have recorded since 2010.
This report highlights the ways our evidence-based Young Writers programme is supporting schools to develop lasting writing for enjoyment practices with the view that every young person is a writer.
In addition to our well-established Young Poets programme, we piloted a range of new programmes based on our three-pillar model for writing.
Every school participating in National Literacy Trust Young Writers programmes is provided with support to use each of these pillars outlined below to improve students’ engagement with writing:
- Inspiring writing through memorable experiences
It can be difficult to ignite the spark that inspires students to want to write. Providing school visits to galleries, museums, and heritage sites helps bring writing to life for students and supports them to become writers outside the classroom.
- Modelling ‘real’ writing working with professional writers
Working with a professional writer provides young people with the opportunity to move away from experiences of writing in school as a standardised process of planning, drafting and editing and re-experience writing as a messy and deeply experimental creative process.
- Providing a real audience and a purpose for writing
Performing writing for a real audience, such as at an assembly, a showcase evening for parents, or at a local arts venue, is a great way to build confidence and increase students' ability to express themselves.
This report also outlines the Young Writers programme’s ambition to continue to explore innovative programmatic approaches aimed at reconnecting children and young people with the creative elements that transform writing into a pleasurable personal practice.