This story about the new Young People’s Laureate in just confirms what I’ve always believed- that all the best stuff happens in Wales.
But seriously, we can’t encourage young people enough to read and to write creatively and a young people’s laureate is just the thing. Childhood and the teen years is when lifelong reading habits are formed. It is also the time, with very few exceptions, when successful and confident writers first try their hand. Sure, they might not publish until they are older but very few writers wait until their 40s or 50s to even think of becoming a writer. Most have know for a long time.
Is it important? What would happen to the world if everyone simply stopped telling stories? We would have an abundance of existing stories still, of course, everything from myths to Shakespeare to Austen to Star Wars, but what if storytelling just stopped?
Personally I think it wouldn’t be long before we couldn’t think anymore. We only know who we are because we can tell it. Not everyone is a “writer” but everyone is a “raconteur” in their own way. Story telling is the human way of navigating and negotiating our way through life. We should spend more time on it in school – that’s a given. But initiatives like the young people’s laureate make sense too.