On Wednesday 3rd October, at The Way Youth Zone in Wolverhampton, award-winning author and 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction nominee Kit de Waal and presenter and broadcaster Vick Hope hosted an evening of inspiring career discussion and a fun and engaging workshop for an audience of teenage girls.

This year, the Women’s Prize for Fiction has partnered with NatWest, with the shared ambition of celebrating women’s voices across the literary world.

The event at The Way Youth Zone aimed to inspire and empower the next generation of female leaders within the literary world by connecting the young women with female role models they might not normally have access to. Vick and Kit delivered a truly inspiring talk covering topics such as their backgrounds, the successes and challenges they’ve faced and advice they’d give for breaking into the creative industry.

Kit told the audience about her tips for getting into the industry “I would read first of all, always read. Listen to authors and hear what they have got to say – if it’s expensive to see them, try YouTube for interviews instead.” On advice for her younger self, she commented “stop worrying and start enjoying because there’s so much to enjoy about life”. Vick added “no matter how difficult it might be, it is experience and you can learn from it and move forward.”

When asked about overcoming writer’s block, Kit advised “think about your character and the thing they hate the most. That has to happen to them! If they’re scared of the dark, lock them in a black room. It never fails.” On supporting the next generation, she comments “people like you, people like me, we can mentor. If you get somewhere, leave the door open, hold a hand back and help them come through.”

The evening concluded with a zine-making workshop with Grrrl Zine Fair, giving the girls an opportunity to get creative and introducing them to the world of self-publishing.