Young People's Zone

Tips and ideas to help with Voices 2017

The theme for Voices 2017, is ’New beginnings:  new opportunities you have had, or how people in your life have helped give you a new start’. Here, you’ll find some tips and ideas to help get your creative juices flowing.


Help – what do I write about?


Don’t let a blank page put you off. You can write about any new beginning, such as moving to a new placement or changing school. Perhaps you have met a new friend, started a job, or found something new to do that you really like. Or maybe you have made a fresh start by giving up old habits rebuilding a relationship with someone in your life.  Did your foster carer, residential worker, social worker, teachers, advocate, or friends help you make a new beginning??  


What sort of format should I use for my writing?


We don’t want you to feel constrained by having to conform to one style. You can write in whatever format you like. It could be:

  • a poem (it doesn’t have to rhyme)
  • a diary entry
  • a story
  • a blog
  • a letter
  • a song
  • a newspaper or magazine article
  • or whatever format you like.

Remember you can submit up to three pieces of writing.


Still stuck? Some questions to get you started


  • Have you had a big change in your life?
  • Did anyone help you deal with that change? What did they do and how did they help? Could they have done something more, or different?
  • Have you had the chance to try something new? What was it like?
  • Have you made a fresh start? Maybe you’ve given a relationship another go, or given up some old habits?


What we are looking for in your writing


We want you to think about changes in your lives and how they made a difference to you. Your writing should explore these themes in an interesting and original way.

The most important thing is to show us how unique you are. We want to be put in your shoes when we read your entry and feel what you feel. Be inventive and creative and convince us that everyone needs to read what you have to say.

Be honest and make us feel something. We want to understand what makes you you.


I’d feel better writing in a group


We've created a writing session plan for groups of young people, such as Children in Care Councils or other participation groups. You can download it here. But remember your entry or entries must be your own work.


Useful links


Discover the Voices 2017 winners