Young People's Zone

Voices 2018: Tips to get you started

The theme for Voices 2018, is 'Who or What Makes You Proud'. 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 anyone or anything that makes you proud, such as how you coped with a new placement or changing school. Perhaps a friend or family member has done something that has just made your heart swell up with pride. Or maybe you have made a fresh start by giving up old habits or rebuilding a relationship with someone in your life. Maybe your foster carer, residential worker, social worker, teachers, advocate, or friends have helped you to feel pride in yourself?

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 rap
  • a story
  • a blog
  • a letter
  • song lyrics
  • a newspaper or magazine article
  • or whatever format you like.

Remember you can only submit one piece of writing. So, make sure you choose your best!


Still stuck? Some questions to get you started


  • Have you had to come to terms with challenging events in your life or felt different from everyone else?
  • Did anyone help you deal with those events and differences? What did they do, and how did they help? Could they have done something more, or different?
  • Have you had the chance to rebuild your life? What was it like?
  • Have you learnt how to do something that others found difficult or created something new and exciting?


What we are looking for in your writing


We want you to think about who or what makes you proud - about yourself or about someone else. 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


Get some inspiration from past winners of Voices