HCRI Writing Competition: Workshops and Resources
Words For Your World - A National Competition
Need some inspiration for writing your letter or speech to the UN? Want to limber up and get your creative juices flowing? Check out our writing workshops and further links and tips below.
Keen to enter this year's competition? Or simply looking to develop your skills under the guidance of a published writer?
In collaboration with the Centre for New Writing, we offered two creative writing workshops in February. The recordings are available to watch below.
These creative writing workshops will help you connect with your own passion and concern around climate change and to translate that passion into charged and vivid language. You'll learn how to generate material for your letters and speeches and how to draw what's most exciting and persuasive about that material to the surface. These workshops will get you writing with a number of creative exercises that can be used to help you write your own incredible letters and speeches.
Your Writing Tutor:
Chad Campbell is the author of two collections of poetry, Laws & Locks (Signal, 2015) and Nectarine (Signal, 2021), and his work has been published widely in North America and the U.K. He is one of the poetry editors at The Manchester Review and teaches creative writing at the University of Manchester's Centre for New Writing.
Workshop for Y9-11
Workshop for Years 12&13
Whether you decide to submit a letter or a speech for Words For Your World - your piece needs to grab the reader's attention and make them sit up and listen to you. You want to persuade them of your point of view. Below we share some tips on how you might go about achieving this:
- Writing from Home: Persuasive Writing – New Writing North Young Writers introduces some techniques on how to write persuasively and convincingly.
- BBC Bitesize – How to persuade a reader (KS3)
- BBC Bitesize – Literary Techniques: Persuasive Devices (KS4)
- BBC Bitesize - How to write a speech (KS3) and GCSE Writing a Speech (KS4)
- BBC Ideas - How to write a perfect speech Cody Keenan, speechwriter to Barack Obama, shares his top tips for how to write a speech that will be remembered.
Be inspired by some notable speeches and letters - not just on climate change:
- Letters of Note Instagram - Lists some highlights from Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note project, an online museum of the world’s most interesting, entertaining and powerful letters.
- 7 speeches that changed the world in the 20th Century - BBC Newsround's look at seven speeches who have inspired us over the years and changed our world for the better.
- Speeches and letters on climate change: Greta Thunberg to the UN in September 2019 - Vanessa Nakate and Thunberg's letter to the media October 2021 - British Council's Global Youth Letter - Professor Myles Allen's letter to the school strikers, November 2021
Climate change links
There is a wealth of information on climate change out there. We have picked out a few links we really like, including some of our own from the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI):
- Disaster Mobilities of Cilmate Change Gallery - This gallery of work was developed by students who study the BSc International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response at HCRI. Our students developed these creative projects to convey key messages from their research essays, and this formed part of their assessment.
- Save the Children UKs Climate Crisis page - Our competition partners provide an amazing resource, which includes lots of information, including a brilliant and insightful video by their Youth Ambassadors.
- British Council’s The Climate Connection – This global initiative unites people around the world to meet the climate challenge. Activities and links include the Global Youth Letter (which you can sign), teacher resources for climate change, information about green careers and much more.
- UN Climate Change Conference COP26 Schools Resource Pack – Information about the climate summit COP26 and a comprehensive list of resources for schools.
- Our Climate, Our Future – The World Wildlife Fund and partner organisations developed this suite of free resources to explore climate change, COP26 and the role that you and your school community can play in solving environmental problems and shaping a sustainable future.
- Sounding the Siren - Amrita's Story - A new report from The University of Manchester’s HCRI, UK-Med and Save the Children UK is calling for the climate emergency to be treated as a humanitarian crisis. Their findings and recommendations are summed up on the Sounding the Siren website and in this graphic novella, which follows aid worker Amrita as she travels to a climate summit and reflects on how the aid system needs to adapt.
Please direct all questions about the competition to SALCfirstname.lastname@example.org