When I was Writer in Residence in Easterhouse I had difficulty at first in getting school pupils writing. Until I discovered that, if I asked them to write about football, or concerts, or fashion – then the writing came tumbling in. There is a belief that somehow ‘real’ writing means fiction, lyrical poems, heartfelt short stories. But young people’s real lives are full of drama, dilemma, wonder – as these examples show so clearly. Everyday experience is the starting point for all writing, and thought. To be able to represent yourself, and the lives of those around you, is a crucial skill. Non-fiction – you couldnae make it up.

Chris Dolan