Young people from four countries learned creative writing from local and Nordic experts

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Young people from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Åland gathered on the island of Kihnu from 24 to 27 April to take part in the first Nordic-Baltic Creative Writing Camp. The main instructor at the cap was Caroline Ørsum from the Danish School of Creative Writing for Youth, Forfatterskolen for Unge. Teachers from the participants´ home countries gave helpful tips and advice.

The young people at the camp could listen to lectures, get tips from Baltic and Nordic creative writing teachers, participate in practical workshops and test their creativity in joint discussions as well as by writing stories independently. In addition to the educational programme, the youngsters also got to know the nature, culture and customs of this unique small island in Estonia.

The main instructor at the camp Caroline Ørsum told the young people how to find a topic to write about, what the structure of the written piece should be like and how to write the beginning, middle and end in such a manner that all parts of the text connect with each other. She assured that stories don’t always have to be extremely complicated and have many characters, but there has to be a conflict, as it draws in the readers. The given tips can be used in the planning stage, but at the end it’s important that the author feels good and confident. Caroline encouraged young people to stay true to themselves and do what feels right to them.

It’s important to write every day, even a little, as this helps you develop and find ideas. However, you don’t have to write a text from the beginning to the end, but you can write the middle part after the introduction instead. Later, they can all be shaped into a whole. The writer gave practical advice on how to overcome a lack of motivation and encouraged the young people to be curious and approach tasks creatively and positively, although it may sometimes be difficult. Caroline also gave advice on dealing with criticism and how to turn it into one’s favour.

The main instruction of the camp Caroline Ørsum is a Danish writer, who has gained fame in the field of youth literature. Caroline’s debut in the field of literature was “Head in the Clouds”, which was published in 2009. She has published another 15 books since then. Caroline holds a master’s degree in Communication Studies from Roskilde University in Denmark, but she is now fully committed to her writing career and teaching creative writing.

The Nordic-Baltic Creative Writing Camp is a joint project of all three Baltic representations of the Nordic Council of Ministers, which was brought to live with the assistance of the programme Nordic Writers Crossing Borders.

Photos of the event can be found here

Read more about the event from Pärnu Postimees