I went into see some young writers at my son’s primary school today. I went into run a story writing workshop with them a few weeks ago and went back to see how they were getting on. One of them is bubbling with words and ideas. She is working on chapter eight of her book. I don’t remember ever aspiring to write a whole book when I was 10. I wrote stories, but nothing longer than a few pages. (I wonder if the fact that they’re using word processors has any effect on this?) Looking at the work of this handful of kids who had taken up the challenge to join the writers’ group, I wondered what made someone a ‘writer’. When kids are young the ability to form letters before your peers makes you a gifted writer. Later it’s about spelling and the basics of grammar. At some point, though, you have to move beyond mastery of the building blocks to creating something with them. This is what I’m hoping to help these kids with. The ones with a desire to say something, with a passion for expressing themselves in words, using words to bring to life something that exists in their heads, these will be the writers – however messy their handwriting is.