Fighting Words

Thankfully, a few creators have stood up against the cuts to arts education in recent years.  Roddy Doyle is one of them. He started Fighting Words in 2010, a group that offers free writing workshops for kids.  Their website features student-created stories like “Popcorn Attack” and “The Cranky President” and a schedule of workshop opportunities that include: fiction writing, playwriting, film making, graphic novels, song writing and photography.  Doyle aims to provide kids with opportunities to explore their creative side, experience the discipline of writing, and to fail. In an article in the Guardian, he explains the importance of  “… the freedom to challenge your mind, to admit failure and then to start again. Schools don’t really allow failure and yet it’s a valid part of any endeavor, not just writing.”

While creativity doesn’t appear to be in short supply, funding support does.  It is hoped that a new limited edition book project will come to the rescue of the financially strapped group. Fighting Words is a soon to be released book of short stories edited by Roddy Doyle.  Fighting Words will contain short stories by Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, John Banville, David Mitchell, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx, Sam Shepard, Richard Bausch, Russell Banks & Salman Rushdie. Each of the ten stories has been specially written for this book.

Each book is signed and numbered by the contributing authors and also includes a signed etching by the artist Sean Scully.  Only 150 copies will be available, but the steep price of 1,950 euros is clearly aimed at collectors and philanthropists.  Still anyone can donate time, and if you have it, expertise.