Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

A review of Full Stop: an anthology

Full Stop is an anthology of creative writing by children and young people in Hastings and the surrounding area written during the 2020 lockdown. Writers from as young as three contributed to this little book of surprises, writes HOT’S Vanessa Alves.

The anthology was produced by Hastings Young Writers Group (HYW) and gives insight into a perspective not often sought – that of children and young people. Through poetry, journal entries and prose it gives understanding on how they are seeing their worlds change in a blink of an eye during this strange time.

There is also imaginative storytelling and writing that speaks from lived experiences. You can clearly see life, what affects them, friendships, sense of loss and change – there is a mention of not being able to go to McDonald’s – but more importantly, the level of emotional intelligence about the Covid-19 and lockdown is astounding. What shines through their creativity is their resilience and it was truly a pleasure to see the beginnings of fantasy writers, poets, thinkers, memoirists and activists.

What is also quite nice is the soft touch to editing, they are not all polished pieces. The anthology reflects how children write and express themselves – complete with extra exclamation marks and capital letters. You can hear their voices in the wonderful worlds they have created.

Charity grant

Thanks to a grant from Magdalen and Lasher Charity, the proceeds from the sale of Full Stop will go to Charity For Kids, that supports disabled, sick and terminally ill children and their families. It costs £6 and you can purchase the anthology from The BookKeeper (1A Kings Road, St Leonards), Teddy Tinkers (134 London Road, St Leonards), Printed Matter (185 Queens Road, Hastings) and Bookbuster (39 Queens Road, Hastings).

Hastings Young Writers

Set up in 2018, Hastings Young Writers consists of a group of young people who meet fortnightly at the White Rock Hotel. With guest speakers and a variety of workshops, it is an opportunity for young people to share ideas, tell stories and develop their craft.  They published their first anthology, Salt in the Wound in 2018. If you want to find out more, have a look at their Facebook page or email

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Posted 12:01 Sunday, Sep 6, 2020 In: New writing

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