Mariam couldn’t find anywhere that would offer her work experience, until she came across Livity. She made this film about her time with us.
08.02.13, Mariam, Work Experience Young Person
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book” John Green, ‘The Fault in our Stars’
If you haven’t read anything by John Green yet then it’s high time you did. We’ve been running a Facebook competition with Penguin books to help promote his latest best-selling novel here in the UK, ‘The Fault in our Stars’. Not that it needs much promoting. Apparently he’s got quite a few followers already. If you haven’t heard of him yet, he’s an American author of young adult fiction, a YouTube vlogger and a #1 best selling author on the New York Times Bestseller list. Oh yes, and he has over 1.2 million twitter followers.
And he seems like a really nice person too. Check out him and his brother Hank here:
Together they are the Nerdfighters. In their own words ‘A nerdfighter is a person who is proud to be nerdy and intelligent, and who fights to decrease WorldSuck. Nerdfighters are not composed of cells and tissue, but instead made entirely of awesome.’ You can learn more about it and him on www.nerdfighters.com.
Anyway, back to the book. It’s one of those books you have to read without stopping. It’s meant to be for teens but it’s actually for everyone and everyone is raving about it. It’s basically a love story. A really wonderful love story about two young people who find each other through their love of the same book. That and the fact that they are both dying of cancer. And while it may be hard to imagine this, it’s really funny. It makes you feel very glad to be alive. Once you read it you feel a duty to pass it on to someone, so here I am passing it on to you. Please read it because it may just change your life.
DFTBA. (Don’t forget to be awesome….)
John Green will be promoting ‘The Fault in our Stars’ in two live events at Cadogan Hall, where he will be joined by a special guest, co-Nerdfighter and brother, Hank Green. Both dates have sold out but you can still watch John talk about what led him to write TFIOS on the Puffin Virtually live webcast on Monday 4th Feb at 2pm-2.45pm (www.puffinvirtuallylive.co.uk)
01.02.13, Anna Izbicki, Group Account Director
Teen editor of our Spinebreakers campaign Adam_MH writes about his views on the future of publishing.
There’s been a growing trend among young people to self-publish their writing online. With the growth of the internet it has become a widely accessible road for a young person to connect their stories within hundreds, thousands and even millions of other young people around Britain. Does this mean that the literary world has embraced the technological age and finally, given young people the chance to be accepted into an adult-dominated wordy world?
The usual conventional method to getting your book published was time-consuming, heartbreaking and emotionally draining. In this perspective, it is perfectly rational to self-publish your book. Scoping around, I was stunned to see so many people actually putting up their work. The range of story plots was never-ending. From boy band fan fiction to plots of realism, young people were writing whatever they felt passionate about. There are literary libraries of future potential enabling young people to become self-publishers (such as Spinebreakers).
But what is causing this trend to rapidly grow? Well, according to former Live Magazine Art Director Andre Anderson who has self-published four books and is still going, it is because of one instrument that we use in our daily lives; almost accustomed to it. “The internet has allowed us to distribute content on a worldwide scale and be successful in a short space of time. Instead of waiting a year for my book to come out, I wrote ULTRA in eight days and released it the next month. It’s that speed that ordinary publishers cannot compete against. You also have creative freedom to express whatever you want without anyone asking you to water down…”
To read Adam’s full article click here http://bit.ly/STBeza.
Spinebreakers is Penguin’s online teen book community run by Livity. For more information visit Spinebreakers.co.uk.
Nazeem Francis is 16 years old and currently on work experience with Live Magazine. After a conversation with somewhereto_’s Joe Gray, Nazeem wrote this blog about how important space is for young people.
I really enjoy playing football in and around London. I’ve been playing football since I was about 8 years old at the same football club called Bush Hill Rangers. It is a well-established club. Financially the club has been very secure and we’ve always had places to train whether it was winter or summer, astroturf or grass. My personal experience with having places to train has always been good. However I have had friends from other teams telling me that they are struggling with training ground availability and finding places to train. For example one friend had to play one half of a match on a grass pitch and then when it got too dark to play, switched to an Astroturf pitch for the second half. And when on the astroturf they didn’t have the full pitch they were promised as other footballers were using it. This could be down to there being too many teams wanting to train on astroturf pitches in the winter, as many pitches aren’t flood lit or maybe even the cost of the flood lit pitches is too high. This is clearly quite a prominent problem for a lot of teams. Teams not having the space to train results in teams losing momentum, questioning commitment and then possibly having to fold as the players lose interest and feel as if the club isn’t committed to playing regular football.
It’s possible I have taken space for granted. As this has never been a barrier for me, I’ve always had the space to train on a regular basis for years. Personally I’ve been very lucky in accessing space. It’s always there for me. However other teams haven’t been so lucky and this could be down to a lack of club structure and a lack of financial backing. This leads to the risk of stopping creativity in young people whether it is in football, music or business. Lack of support dampens confidence in young people. This leads to a lack of interest as our youth feel like they aren’t getting anywhere, which makes them feel like they are wasting time. This lack of interest can lead to them getting involved with the wrong crowd, as if their hobby or passion isn’t working out it may seem like its not worth it. A lot of space is turned into flats and housing instead of being turned into football pitches or music studios for young people to work on their many talents. This influences younger generations as they have no role models to look up to. If space is being turned into housing this means there are obviously going to be less opportunities for young people from a younger age, which is really worrying. It seems like projects like somewhereto_ and Livity more broadly are here to help out young people who can’t get the support elsewhere.
When my teacher friend asked me to speak about marketing to his year 11s, I agreed without giving it much thought. But the night before it finally sank in, as I desperately tried to think up ways to keep them engaged.
Daniel, our marketing apprentice, and I arrived to find the class sitting in absolute silence, watching us intently. I began asking them questions about what they enjoyed doing; who was interested in art, in business, in numbers, in writing…
I planned on showing that just within that class we had all the skills to set up our very own marketing agency. But it fell a bit flat as I asked: ‘who spends a lot of time on Facebook’, expecting all their hands to go up. Silence. ‘Nah, we don’t use Facebook – we just use BBM – you know what that is right?’, one of them volunteered. Luckily I did, so didn’t look like a complete dinosaur. They all said they used YouTube, so I salvaged it there, and we allocated the role of social media planner!
Now that we had our marketing agency, we needed a project. I gave them a fictional client brief, and they soon came up with a new fizzy drink brand called ‘Trizz’ (tropical fizz – geddit?), with the world’s first palm tree-shaped bottle. Frizz: Taste the Frizz, feel the fizz… I’m certain it’ll catch on.
Daniel received a round of applause for talking about his journey into Livity, and all in all it went pretty well. I was so impressed, not only by the enthusiasm of the pupils, but at 15 and 16 just how commercially aware these young people were too. They knew how to calculate a profit margin, they knew what ‘USP’ stood for, and they were full of ideas. Move over Alan Sugar – you’ve got some serious competition just around the corner!
01.11.12 Florence Wilkinson, Senior Account Manager